Russia has dispatched eleven warships to the eastern Mediterranean, some of which will dock in Syria, in Moscow’s latest attempt to display Russian power in the region and ward off a Western intervention in Syria.
About half of the ships are capable of carrying hundreds of Russian Marines, although its unknown if any forces are set to go ashore after docking at Russia’s naval base in Tartus.
The announcement came just one day after Russia officially said it would halt all new weapons sales to Syria. Russia has provide arms and backing to the regime of Bashar al-Assad throughout the 16-month long conflict.
Sending naval vessels, as Russia has done periodically throughout the past, seems an attempt to reassure the US and its allies that Moscow still plans to block any attempt to intervene militarily against the Assad regime.
Russia’s main concerns regarding Syria is that Washington will try to usher in regime change, and possibly military intervention, and exploit any political transition for their benefit, thus stamping out Russia’s valuable Middle Eastern ally.
UN envoy Kofi Annan said this month that while Russia has received a lot of criticism for continuing to back the violent President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, “very few things are said about other countries that send arms and money and weigh on the situation on the ground,” without naming any specific countries.
Foreign meddling on behalf of all sides has been instrumental in prolonging the conflict by emboldening both sides and making a political settlement more remote. But now Russia seems to be altering its posture to one of preventing any military intervention against Assad, instead of arming the regime as a proxy client. This position is more amenable to a resolution to the conflict, unlike the position of the US and its allies in arming and aiding the Syrian rebel fighters.
21 thoughts on “Russia Sends Warships Toward Syria”
Good! Does this mean the Russians will provide air defense cover against any "incursions" by either NATO or Israel? Now that would be something Tel Aviv would piss in their pants over.
“Annan also said… the violent President Bashar al-Assad’s regime…”
The above quote appeared in at least 2 articles on this site. I wonder where from Anti-war got that quote, or is it its own fabrication:
Anyone wanting to read an honest article on Syria go to Asia Times (at.com) and read “Covering Syria: The information war” By Aisling Byrne
[moderator’s note: Nice try, Charles — trying to make it appear that “the violent President Bashar al-Assad’s regime” is presented as a quote of Annan. Clever. But not very honest – TLK]
Nice try TLK
What's not honest is the use of "violent" to preface "President Bashar al-Assad’s regime" but not using the same to preface "US and its allies". What is the comparative body?
The "comparative body" is the entire decade-and-a-half of Antiwar.com's opposition to US military adventurism, which has been total and without exception.
Antiwar.com's raisson d'etre has always been to expose, to steal a phrase from Monty Python, "the violence inherent in the [US] system."
That doesn't mean we have to pretend that other systems aren't also violent.
If it makes any difference, that should have been "body count".
Thomas L. Knapp <<<"That doesn't mean we have to pretend that other systems aren't also violent."
There was no purpose in that article to preface Assad with "violent" other than to "inform" the reader who the bad guy was in this story. Proof enough of this contention is that others with a far more violent record did not receive the same.
Why does this site cling so tightly to the coattails of the MSM who have proven themselves to be unreliable and champions of the imperial wars? Obviously most of your readers are better informed than what they're getting here. Reality has put us well past the days when 'off the grid' sources can be automatically dismissed as less reliable than the corporate press. I notice that this site doesn't hesitate the same to go to alternative sources when they want to champion their Libertarianism. That's your bag, fine, but it's not what built this site.
"There was no purpose in that article to preface Assad with 'violent' other than to 'inform' the reader who the bad guy was in this story."
While I didn't write the piece, it's not too difficult to argue that there was, in fact, another purpose than that.
Antiwar.com opposes US/NATO intervention in Syria.
At first blush, that would seem to place us on the side of the Assad regime.
Since we aren't on the side of the Assad regime, we have to go a little out of our way to make it clear that we consider the Assad regime just as bad as those other regimes and/or entities whom it is contextually clear we are routinely treating as violent, even if we don't preface every mention of them with that word.
"Why does this site cling so tightly [in my imagination] to the coattails of the MSM who have proven themselves to be unreliable and champions of the imperial wars?"
Fixed that for ya … and having done so, the question answers itself.
At this point, I don't think there's much doubt that the Assad government has reacted violently to attempts to overthrow it. I read most of the piece at atimes.com (not at.com), and while it documents the assistance the opposition is getting from US and Saudi allies, it doesn't really ever provide any evidence that the Syrian govt has also been acting violently.
There is a great deal of hypocrisy involved in an Obama govt that has reacted violently to its own Occupy protesters, not with bullets (yet), but being beaten by police batons and struck by rubber bullets is also violence. And in an Obama govt that is willing to finance and supply weapons to a Bahrain regime which is also reacting violently to its protesters. And when they openly support the right of an Israeli government to shoot and kill any peaceful protesters that approaches a border fence. So yes, there is hypocrisy in these stances, especially when funneling lawyers, guns, money and media and cyber support to the other side. But none of that somehow makes the Assad govt in Syria "non-violent".
There is nothing wrong in that, a friend helping a friend. I wish I could say that for US and EU when their enemy of their enemy was their friend…. Did you get it….. if not look at George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Bill Clintons friends from the time when they started the Balkan war to when they invaded Iraq, and now Obama and Hillary Clinton with their Syrian opposition friends, like murderous, bandits and Wahhabis the barbarians from Libya.
All five of those Russian amphibious vessels are designed to carry armored vehicles, with personnel as a very secondary function. They are built around big parking decks, and ramps in and out.
I'd like to know what they are carrying. Those are not evacuation ships for women and children.
They may be evacuation ships, but for equipment, not people. If you have all sorts of heavy equipment, trucks, machinery, generators, cranes, anything that might be used at a working naval base, and you think the bombs may start to fall all around there in the near future, you'll get your stuff out of there. Those sound like just the sort of ships you'd want for just that task.
"…you'll get your stuff out of there…"
So unlike the US approach which seems to be to just abandon the equipment…after destroying them beyond repair. So much easier to just submit a chit requesting replacement from congress…and the taxpayer. Have to stay equipped, you know. Screw the cost of abandonment – new is better since upkeep of older equipment is so hard, especially in a harsh environment.
Very interesting. I've been speculating that the only way to prevent the West and it's crony crazies from moving forward with their insanity was to put Russian personnel directly on the ground. This makes it a message that bears paying attention to. If the Saudis, Qataris and the Amero-Zionist crazies know better they'll ratchet down the rhetoric and bloodshed post-haste or suffer more than it is worth.
Russia has been arming Syria for FAR longer than the "16-month long conflict", they've been arming them for DECADES – the arming of Syria predates both Bashar Assad's regime & the Russian Federation in Moscow. I wish when antiwar.com publishes articles on this topic that they'd make this clear. Reading the article above as written, one can easily get the impression that Russia has only been arming Syria for 16 months. The reality is that it's NATO & the Gulf States who are the ones who've been in this conflict for 16 months. By contrast, Russia's arms sells to Syria are legal under international law, while arming terrorists to overthrow that government most certainly isn't.
Even a small Russian patrol vessel would be quite efficient against any western thoughts on repeating the "humanitarian" blood bath in Libya.
The massive fire power of 11 Russian Warships from the North, Baltic and Black sea naval bases are contrary to to the wishes of some commentators not meant to evacuate but to reinforce the presence of the non-anglo American free world, led by Russia and China, against any western Zionist intervention and destabilisation of this crucial important region .
The western media are most certainly leaving the impression in their articles that Russia is turning tail. The problem is that the western media has misrepresented Russia's position throughout this conflict only to have Lavrov come out and dismiss their claims days later.
These 11 warships are being sent to give pause to those attempting to bypass the security council. I don't think the Russians expect a shooting war, but they know there likely won't be one there if they display a strong naval presence around Syria. Afterall, NATO/US aren't willing to risk the destruction of earth's northern hemisphere in a nuclear war over Syria are they?
Given the reckless and stupid American way to show "statemanship" (JFK in its eye-to-eye confrontation and let's-see-who-blinks-first back in 1962) I'm not sure whther this Russian move will be enough to deter them. After all, their children are not on the line, they are to make billions out of the whole thing and probably they have already bought estancias in the Patagonia to save their skins in case the worst happens.
Remember, this is the same western media that has been telling everyone that the Taliban have been 'turning tail' in Afghanistan, while mysteriously all the outer bases of the US/NATO forces have fallen to the Taliban and the war has moved into the streets of Kabul itself. Of course, the German people were told that Stalingrad was a great victory until they had to tell people that 250,000 soldiers would not be coming home.
I would suspect the ships have multiple purposes. They could carry a small force of Marines for security, be prepared to evacuate equipment, and evacuees can easily sit on a parking deck for a few days until reaching another port. They almost certainly have local air defense capabilities in that flotilla as well.
Now there's something it will be a bit harder for the Brits to pull the insurance coverage on.
"Good! Does this mean the Russians will provide air defense cover against any "incursions" by either NATO or Israel? Now that would be something Tel Aviv would piss in their pants over"
When I see the above, I reflexively think ……. Bout Time………!!!!!!!!! But I once supported the Hebrew Homeland whole heartedly and it saddens me to see how far down the road my thinking has gone..
My first shock was how Lebanon was constantly being bullied and brutalized….. Many more shocks later I'm done…!!! Stealing us a bad idea……… Stealing a phone or a country…. It's wrong….. and usually ends badly……. Now the thieves have nuclear weapons and want to steal more and more..
If they keep doing terrible things month in month out…….. Where will my thinking go…..???
But your "radicalization" is not your fault but that of the criminals in the west. What kind of normal human being can witness the wholesale butchery of innocent human beings and remain indifferent? And this has been going on for decades with the media whores playing the violin and manipulating the minds of the sheeple so that the Israelis invade, plunder, maim and kill but the Muslims are the bad guys.And I'm sick and tired of hearing them justify their insane actions by bringing back the Holocaust. So the Holocaust gives them carte blanche to do exactly wht others did to them more than half a century ago.
Thank you, Russia, for doing what you can to ward off our lunatic leaders in the West.
Keep us out of Syria! We don't need yet another war.
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