Syria/Tartus Base-Armed and Operational

Itar Tass has confirmed today that a disembarkation occurred at the port of Tartus, Russia’s sole military base in the Mediterranean sea. According to the update, as we had written several days ago, when we wrote of the reconnaissance contingent’s disembark , three warships namely ‘Aleksander Otrakovskiy’, “Georgiy Pobedonosets” and “Kondopoga” unloaded hundreds of marines along with several BTR vehicles (Armored Personnel Carriers). Amongst them is a GRU contingent most likely the elite Spetsnaz units stationed in Chechnya, specially trained for Counter Terrorism operations. According to reports the unloaded troops are headed towards the mainland, where they will definitely offer their support in order to counter the rising insurgency!

As if this fact alone was not ominous, Britain and France intend to carry out exercises by dispatching around 400 marines, frigates, a submarine along with numerous other surface ships including a helicopter carrier and the French aircraft carrier CDG (Charles De Gaulle). According to the British Defense Ministry, they will carry out exercises and if need by they will evacuate British and French citizens, who are left behind in the war torn country. Nothing is mentioned about a potential, off the UN context, establishment of a “No Fly Zone”, however there are many who believe that Clinton’s visit to Turkey and her discussions with Davutoglu includes the above matter in the agenda as well. Be that as it may, the conflict, which started in the broader context of the Arab Spring protests has taken a nasty turn with the Free Syrian Army counting more than a 1000 dead in the last days in the city of Aleppo! In a rather similar scenario in Libya, the No Fly Zone was applied when Gaddafi was winning the battle of Benghazi and his victory over the rebels was a matter of days. NATO’s intervention turned the tables, but it left Libya in a state of disarray with regions being autonomous or semi-autonomous! Russians swore that the same scenario would not reoccur in Syria and that should the Turks (or anyone else) decide to deploy planes in the context of a No Fly Zone, they are going to shoot them down “like toy ducks in the fun fair”.

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