EAST MEDITERRANEAN NAVAL STAND-OFF July 12, 2012Posted by wmmbb in Middle East.
The Eastern Mediterranean appears to becoming a political flashpoint, if the report is correct that NATO and Russia deploying increasing numbers of naval ships. The Russians have clear strategic interests at stake.
The Debka File in a exclusive report:
NATO, which proclaims non-involvement in the Syrian conflict, and Russia, which vows to block foreign military action against the Assad regime, are both moving large naval forces into the eastern Mediterranean opposite Syrian shores.
A flotilla of at least 11 Russian warships has been detached from Caspian Sea, Black Sea and North Sea fleet bases and is on its way to the Syrian coast for a maneuver; NATO has consigned its rapid response Maritime Group 2 to the same stretch of sea – where also five Israeli warships are deployed. The Western alliance has also increased surveillance flights over the Mediterranean from the Geilenkirchen air base in Germany.
This rush of military movements is explained officially by the big air-and-sea exercise launched by Syria Sunday, July 8, to simulate outside aggression. It follows Iran’s practice of continuous military drills for repelling mock Western or Israel attacks.
The exercise began with a barrage of dozens of surface-to-sea missiles simulating naval and shore defense against approaching enemy craft and landing forces.
At about the same time, Iran embarked on a big air-cum-missile defense exercise in the south to fight off potential aggression from the direction of the Gulf of Oman and the Gulf of Aden, where US air force units are clustered.
The claim is then made that:
High-ranking Saudi princes associated with their national military and intelligence agencies frankly confided to Arab and Western officials on recent visits to Riyadh that the US and, possibly Israel too, are on the verge of war on Iran. “It is already decided,” they say. The only question still open is the date, which could be before or after the US presidential election on November 6.
So if true is both lunatic and very dangerous.
Syria may not be a major power, but it too has been displaying its naval potential:
The Cuban Missile Crisis is the analogy that comes to mind.
- NATO, Russian naval-air buildup in E. Mediterranean, French units to Gulf (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- Russia Sends Warships on Maneuvers Near Syria (nytimes.com)
- Breaking: Russia Sends Warships to Syria (investmentwatchblog.com)
- Russia, Israel turn up heat in Mediterranean Sea (hurriyetdailynews.com)
The activity in the East Mediterranean appears to be related to increasing US aggression in the Persian Gulf. When does the US respect the sovereignty of other countries. When do any military place a premium on peace, or forego the use of violence for other methods?