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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toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

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

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!"



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

No Euros please we're British's picture

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

Element's picture

who owns Rio Tinto again?

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)

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!!

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 ! 

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 !

EL INDIO's picture

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


Chicken or what ?

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

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

EL INDIO's picture

It looks like the situation is getting serious.

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.

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.

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.

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 !

Overfed's picture

Sunburn missiles, bitchez!

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.

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...

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.

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. 

Monedas's picture

Squadroon :   A negro with 1/12 white blood !