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Russia Sends Two Squadrons Of Ships To Syria

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Several days ago, various media outlets misinterpreted a statement out of Russia, in which it was said that Assad may be defeated by the local Al Qaeda-funded and US-supported rebels, and which many took as an indication that the geopolitics in the Middle East may be shifting as Russian support of Syria was ending. Turns out nothing could be further from the truth, and moments ago the AP reports that a "Russian navy squadron has set off for the Mediterranean" with destination Syria. The official point of the exercise: evacuation. The unofficial: anything but. "The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that the ships will rotate with those that have been in the area since November. Russian diplomats said last week that Moscow is preparing plans to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria if necessary. The ministry did not say whether the navy ships are intended for an evacuation." Remember that "evacuation" was the pretext when Russia also sent the Grand Missile Cruiser Moskva off the Gaza coast last month at the height of the latest escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict. The pretext then? "Evacuation" too. Why anyone would send their Black Sea Navy flag ship to 'evacuate' a few hundred citizens, all of whom are perfectly proficient with instructions on how to board a plane, is of course, anyone guess.

Alternatively, why Russia would go ahead and do everything to defend its strategic Syria naval base in Tartus, and a regime it has been very sympathetic to in the past, is pretty clear to everyone, especially now that the US and NATO are openly supplying Syria's northern neighbor Turkey with missiles: for now defensive, or so the media spin goes.

From AP:

The squadron of five ships that sailed from the Baltic Sea base of Baltiysk includes a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels that could evacuate hundreds of people.

Right, evacuation is the Destroyer's primary role. Look it up: it's in the SOP. And just in case one squadron was not enough, here is another.

Another group of three navy ships departed Tuesday from Severomorsk, the main base of Russia's Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula.

 

While their official mission is anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, the ships will sail past the Syrian shores and may linger there if need be.

The Interfax news agency, citing unidentified naval sources, reported that the navy command wants the ships to be on hand for the task if needed. It said the mission's duration will depend on the situation in Syria.

 

Last week, a senior Russian diplomat said for the first time that Syrian President Bashar Assad is losing control and the rebels might win the civil war, a statement that appeared to signal that Moscow has started positioning itself for an endgame in Syria. But the Foreign Ministry disavowed Mikhail Bogdanov's statement the next day, saying his words were misinterpreted and that Moscow's position on the crisis hasn't shifted.

 

Russia's base in the Syrian port of Tartus is its only naval outpost outside the former Soviet Union. Moscow has been Assad's main ally, shielding him from international sanctions over a brutal crackdown on an uprising that began in March 2011 and turned into the civil war, killing more than 40,000 people.

 

The latest naval deployment comes as the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that two Russians were kidnapped alongside an Italian in Syria and that their captors have asked for a ransom for their release. The three, who worked at a Syrian steel plant, were kidnapped late Monday on the road between Tartus and Homs.

 

The ministry identified those kidnapped as V. V. Gorelov, Abdesattar Hassun and Mario Belluomo and said the kidnappers have contacted the Hmisho steel plant by telephone and demanded a ransom for their release. It did not specify the amount.

Then again, ignore all of this: we are confident the UN will soon pass a resolution banning all US evacuating destroyers, and all shall be well in the world, as Russia rolls over and allows "developed world" interests to partition its strategic foreign interests, even if that means handing over its prized possession, European gas dependence, to the west.

Or maybe not.

 

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Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:12 | 3075115 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

From Russia with love...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:14 | 3075118 The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut's picture

WHO DAT sayin' the Cold War is over?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:18 | 3075131 trav777
trav777's picture

so basically the entire russian navy is in the Med?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:31 | 3075160 CPL
CPL's picture

Yes, to evac the 120,000 Russians in Syria.

 

http://3mv.ru/

 

The Russian arm chair military watches this shit like a hawk.  Use Chrome or a plugin translator obviously.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:18 | 3075338 oddjob
oddjob's picture

So, is your $200 bbl by next week still on?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:44 | 3075416 Paul Bogdanich
Paul Bogdanich's picture

Either a mistranslation. a false report or an idiot reporter most probably the latter.  Airplanes have squadrons ships travel in groups submarines in packs. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:03 | 3075482 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

How much could this escalate in 3 days? (12-21)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:30 | 3075170 Randall Cabot
Randall Cabot's picture

US pulls war fleet from Syrian water. Ahmadinejad cancels Turkey visit

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2012

http://www.debka.com/article/22618/US-pulls-war-fleet-from-Syrian-water-...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:01 | 3075763 john39
john39's picture

not sure i buy that part about the U.S. fleet leaving syrian waters...   even if true, is has misdirection written all over it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:23 | 3075864 Randall Cabot
Randall Cabot's picture

Debka is said to be a Mossad front so it could very well be misdirection. I haven't seen anything else on this, one way or the other. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 06:13 | 3077844 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

the misdirection was that the fleet was there in the first place. It was ordered home weeks ago for flight deck repairs. It just so happens is needs to go through the med. to get home.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:48 | 3075221 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

and stocks explode to the upside

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:42 | 3075197 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:20 | 3075342 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

why don't they bitch about Urban Meyer's fat salary as THE(douchey) Ohio State U FB coach?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:16 | 3075125 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

Oh Shit, let's sell gold and silver.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:19 | 3075133 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

....to Japanese pension funds.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:40 | 3075189 CPL
CPL's picture

...what hand would seriously weaken enough to sell the real thing?

 

Be like selling both your lungs to buy a pack of cigarettes.  Doesn't make any sense.

 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:40 | 3075401 EL INDIO
EL INDIO's picture

I’m wondering how can the Japanese live so long when they have been nuked twice plus Fukushima ?

 

They shouldn't need pension funds.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:15 | 3076074 CPL
CPL's picture

Like selling a porn magazine to a blind man.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:35 | 3075385 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

From my cold dead body.

Hasn't shrunk at all today that I can see.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:18 | 3075129 unrulian
unrulian's picture

and your guns

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:19 | 3075132 No Euros please...
No Euros please we're British's picture

Now this is what happens when you let a country accumulate gold instead of US$ backed securities. Russia get it. BTFD.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:19 | 3075138 natty light
natty light's picture

Tartus tetris

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:21 | 3075139 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

War....what is it good for?

<Ummmm......mass distraction and manufacturing scapegoats if you really want to know.>

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:26 | 3075155 Element
Element's picture

Keeping stocks up thus sparing banks getting gutted

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:23 | 3075144 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

It's tough projecting moral force on the other side of the world when you are using children in new  mexico in trailers playing angry muslims on digital monitors, blowing up other children for whatever god-forsaken malrationale.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:23 | 3075148 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

Presumably those ships are not loaded with bullion...

although that would be just as provocative, no?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:27 | 3075157 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Or perhaps they are going to load up.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:01 | 3075263 No Euros please...
No Euros please we&#039;re British's picture

Actually, I think those ships ARE loaded with bullion. Bullion from the Fed and the LMBA. Oh dear did you say a nasty boating accident? Never mind, all that paper is safe and dry on land.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:43 | 3075162 matsoR
matsoR's picture

This whole situation sucks really... an interesting aljazeera doc Syria: songs of defiance gives a good view of how bad this whole situation really is for the normal people!

My heart is with the people of syria and I hope they get out of this mess somehow.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:33 | 3075177 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Great diversion for the fiscal cliff. 

It's all smoke and mirrors in the world of financialization.

Year-end Wall Street bonuses on center stage,

It's all that matters on Wall Street. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:26 | 3075361 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

The Fed's charter is up on 21/12/2012 , not a word on that.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:37 | 3075184 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Captain Ramius is 6 weeks late on his "Pillars of Thor" run... 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:40 | 3075192 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

Isn't it conveeeenient that we have a mass shooting just days before Crazy Ivan sends his fleets down to Syria to do the End Times Tango?

I'll bet the open interest on all the gun manufacturers would be revealing given today's algo smackdowns...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:47 | 3075216 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Maybe the son of some Russian involved in librogate will go crazy today. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:47 | 3075211 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

In related news:

Putin Said to Seal $7 Billion Russian Arms Deal in India

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-18/putin-said-to-seal-7-billion-ru...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:04 | 3075272 No Euros please...
No Euros please we&#039;re British's picture

Are they paying with gold? Surely not US dollars, that is so 20th century.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:50 | 3075690 trav777
trav777's picture

they're still waiting on the Gorshkov...after russia raised the price by 400%

the 30MKI is pretty India-heavy anyway; got some Israeli parts in there as well

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:47 | 3075219 I Am Not a Copp...
I Am Not a Copper Top's picture

No wonder stocks are up

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:55 | 3075246 meizu
meizu's picture

Putin has personally assured patriarch of the Russian orthodox church that he will defend Syria's orthodox christians

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:03 | 3075255 Canucklehead
Canucklehead's picture

...a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels...

If Syria expects Russia to go to war for them with that firepower, the game truly is up.  Russia has shown it's hand and is folding.

If a "Shooting War" breaks out, I suspect the crews of the tugboat and tanker can use witty "isms" as they call down to the approaching borders.  I realize we are dealing with medieval politics in Syria but does the middle east always have to take a page from Monty Python?

Maybe Monty Python is the new prophet?

How about this one.  A destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels went into a bar in Syria...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:18 | 3075305 Element
Element's picture

US fleets take self-protected tankers with them, so it's nothing to snear at.

Don't under-estimate your ... and you know the rest.

Those amplibs also have a bit of firepower on deck and can handle themselves, plus put ashore a very useful and flexible range of marine armor and SAMs.

They might need a top-off or three from a tanker. ;)

I'm not so sure the rest of the elements in the med will be going home soon. Why go back empty?  Why go back at all if you have a fresh tanker and stores?

BTW: that tug suggests a longer-term deployed commitment to me. ;)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:24 | 3075354 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

Russians are some mean MFers- a land conflict w/ them would slap some sense into the US armed forces-but then again Uncle Sam usually likes to bully smaller guys.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:34 | 3075387 Monedas
Monedas's picture

We let Hitler soften them up .... so they were house trained by the time they got to Berlin !

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:53 | 3075717 trav777
trav777's picture

uh...they had their hands full against Georgia.

Their fleet would be sunk quickly by our navy.  Russia has NEVER been a top-tier naval power.

The strongest navies in the world are the USA (so far in front it's not even close) then Japan  Even the Italians or Spanish, UK or Indians are more formidable than Russia.  Naval power comes from operational experience, not ship quantities or the numbers of big guns on the decks.  This is why China's navy is laughed at.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:12 | 3076793 gallistic
gallistic's picture

"uh... they had their hands full against Georgia"

Uh... no, that is simply incorrect.

On 8 August 2008 Georgia launched an large military offensive into South Ossetia and Russian troops went from 0-100 MPH very fast. Russia poured troops into Georgia through a narrow, single point of entry (the Roki Tunnel) and ran face-first into heavy fighting with much larger Georgian forces, who had already taken Tskhinvali and occupied positions. 

In just under 5 days Russia captured the cities Poti, Gori, Senaki, and Zugdidi, and had completely carved out two large areas of Georgia (Ossetia and Abkhazia). They controlled almost all of northern Georgia, and had defeated or anhilated all the manuever brigades Georgia had fielded. The Russian 58th Army had a direct line into Tiblisi (the capital city) and could have easily attacked Tiblisi and taken out the Government of Georgia. By August 11, the Georgians were in full-blown apocalypse panic mode, massing everything they had in a defensive position around Tiblisi.

The Russians showed remarkable restraint and halted their advance, satisfied that their strategic goals had been met. If there had been 5 more days of fighting, Georgia would be part of Mother Russia again.

Russia inserted their troops through a single narrow point, fought the Georgians who had all the advantage, dislodged them, "liberated" what are now two independent countries, and absolutely routed Georgia in 5 days.

To say that "they had their hands full against Georgia" is just incorrect.

 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:17 | 3077939 Element
Element's picture

Indeed, and if you look at the systems and platforms and also the weapon types they did that with, they used all of their LEAST capable hardware to do it. It is incredible what they did with so little technology commited. That is a military you do not want to mix it up with.

Trav you have no clue about this stuff.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:12 | 3077913 Element
Element's picture

Not buying that one. I've never seen anyone really take the piss out of the PLAN. The Chinese aren't beginners and I think your generalisation is not one I would trust to go into battle with. That would be underestimating them in the worst possible way. Yes the USN would be a real bastard of a navy to try and defeat, don't like those chances. But the PLAN are hardly about to try it either. But get close in to them and the home-field advantage kicks in. They would hurt any Navy.

No way the USN wants to go toe to toe with the Russians, why do you think they immediately pulled the carriers back? You can't have nuclear-armed fleets eyeball to eyeball in that situation - and they will both have nukes. The USN could defeat the Russians in the med, of course, but then what? You could lose it all doing that, or poison the waters of international relations for half a century, at the least. Only a vegetable would do that. With Washington though, it's best to never underestimate its insatiable quest for excellence - in dumbness and incompetance.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:39 | 3075398 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

This whole ting makes me wonder what's lurking under the surface. Superpower chess with submersible pieces.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:56 | 3075735 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

I'm not ready to sneer at Russia's surprise 250mph underwater missiles.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shkval

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:38 | 3075928 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

"  A destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels went into a bar in Syria...:"

 

The barista, upon seeing them, said, "C, 3".

 

The Russian president, Putin, sez, "You sunk my battleship!"

 

And WWIII was ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:00 | 3075259 David99
David99's picture

ZH is only doing good job and reporting correctly. Tyler is a real true person though I have never met him. FED+BOE+ECB+BOJ are the biggest manipulators and JPM +GS +20PD's act on their behalf in this Ponzi Casino. It is all rigged Ponzi Casino. JPM & GS do maximum manipulations from London as no regulators are looking what is going on daily. London is the best place to manipulate Ponzi Casino as no regulators as they are watching porno. Manipulations of highest order without any regulations as every one has been purchased and regulators watching porno. In last 10 trading days, Rio Tinto manipulated by +25% gain and regulators watching porno. JPM doing it. It is just Casino and nothing else. Regulators are watching porno, don't know how Rio Tinto is manipulating daily. On LSE, there is no checks and balances and maximum manipulations daily by Rio Tinto. The market is Casino and the biggest manipulated stock is Rio Tinto and JPM is pulling up daily and no regulations for Rio Tinto in London

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:05 | 3075281 No Euros please...
No Euros please we&#039;re British's picture

Fuck me! I had to vote you up. Have you been injected with truth serum?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:36 | 3075389 Element
Element's picture

who owns Rio Tinto again?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:19 | 3076090 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Hate to pop ur bubble but...Tyler Durden is a fictional character from "Fight Club" by Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk.

Nonetheless, ur sentiment is appreciated and supported ;o)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:01 | 3075264 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

Edward,Bernays can explain it:

1929 style:::::::::-------Lucky Strike!!!

Or better Odrummer to Modvodov,i have an election to take care of,hold the breath for a while.

The blue pill thanks!!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:17 | 3075331 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Would you fly out of Damascus .... especially when the war gets down to the short strokes ? Do you want to exit in steerage .... or on the wings of a stinger .... one of those that Hillary gave to Al Qaeda Libya ?  I love seeing the Russians harvest the fruit of their filthy terrorist seed ! 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:27 | 3075364 Monedas
Monedas's picture

News flash:  Adam Lanza was a Veegan (sp?) !  Don't you just love carniverous monkeys and liberal fruit bats .... just heard it on Rush .... yes, I listen to Rush, while I share my posts .... sometimes !

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:37 | 3075392 EL INDIO
EL INDIO's picture

At the same time US ships that were waiting by the  Syrian cost  are now  are leaving !

 

Chicken or what ?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:44 | 3075413 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

That will be because of Chinese and Russian subs lurking no doubt.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:52 | 3075440 EL INDIO
EL INDIO's picture

It looks like the situation is getting serious.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:51 | 3075439 TSA gropee
TSA gropee's picture

A squadron of ships? What, do the Russkies now have ships that fly too? Sorry for being anal retentive on this but as a former flyboy, calling a few ships a squadron is just plain wrong, a small flotilla would be more apropo. Anyways, at some point all this military foreplay has gotta come to a head. (pun intended). Guess a lot of it depends on where Syria's point of critical mass is.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 15:23 | 3079779 gallistic
gallistic's picture

There are cavalry squadrons, naval squadrons, and air squadrons.

 

The cavalry and naval squadrons existed before planes had even been invented, and continue to this day.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 14:52 | 3075441 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Gotta wonder how long before a few of those Patriot missile batteries wind up in the Turkish part of Cyprus. One or two batteries could easily deny 100% of Greek Cypriot airspace to any aircraft, military or civilian. Oops.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:01 | 3075469 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

So far it's about a squadron every month according to ZH. I call BS on all the Russian ships to Syria stories. I can get that crap from DEBKA. 911 ! 911 !

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:30 | 3075604 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Sunburn missiles, bitchez!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:45 | 3075672 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Underwater missiles too!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shkval

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:28 | 3075885 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

Russia like the US finds it helpful in governing their people to create external threat and drama.  I was in southern Russia (Pyettigorsk) last summer and my hosts were aware of syria as a topic, but were not pashionately opinionated about it.  Neither was I. What we agreed on was that syria has two sets of bad guys fighting over control. My take is that Russian leaders have some economic investment with Assad and they do not want to look weak to the world or their voting public. They already backed a loosing horse in Lybia.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:24 | 3076108 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

"My take is that Russian leaders have some economic investment with Assad and they do not want to look weak to the world or their voting public. They already backed a loosing horse in Lybia."

I don't remember the Russkies sending Bulava anti-ship systems, Iskander surface-to-surface missiles, S-300 air defense systems and Spetsnaz teams to support Gaddafi. This is about keeping the only warm water port of call Russia can depend on in the Mediterranean...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:54 | 3076243 Time for Titus
Time for Titus's picture

Orthodox Russia also has very strong ties to Orthodox Christian Syria, the Antiochian Patriarch who has been there for 2,000 years, since Peter and the Book of Acts.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:53 | 3075982 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

Russia is a mafia govt in our back pocket and vice versa, they're there (the Black Sea Fleet) to loot, not defend, we can take that to the Swiss bank.

So Russia dumps their "Syrian allies" aside from Syrians, who does Russia "lose face" with?  

Right, nobody, nobody is relying on Russia anymore, they have no "ideological allies" to burn, they're mafia and everybody knows it. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:50 | 3076231 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Squadroon :   A negro with 1/12 white blood !

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