Russian Ships Park Off Syrian Coast As NATO Deploys Patriot Missiles In Turkey

Tyler Durden's picture

Several hours ago, Syrian president delivered his first public speech in months, addressing the internal military conflict that has gripped his country, and whose key excerpts can be found here. In it he called for a "full national mobilisation" to fight against rebels he described as al Qaeda terrorists. "We meet today and suffering is overwhelming Syrian land. There is no place for joy while security and stability are absent on the streets of our country," Assad said in a speech at the opera house in central Damascus. "The nation is for all and we all must protect it." Assad once again blamed the west for provoking and "facilitating" the rebellion, which even the NYT admits is being orchestrated by Al Qaeda, which naturally begs the question: just what is Al Qaeda to the US and to its intelligence agencies - foe or ally? But while providing fodder for the pundits, the speech was largely irrelevant. What does merit attention is the follow up to the story from two weeks ago the Russia sent two squadrons of ship to Syria in mid-December. It appears they have arrived, and just in time to offset the positioning of NATO Patriot missiles along the Turkish-Syria border.

From Jerusalem Post:

Russia has concentrated five landing ships in the eastern Mediterranean in a show of force  meant to deter Western nations from intervening militarily in Syria, The Sunday Times quoted a Russian diplomat as saying.


According to the report, the ships are carrying military vehicles and hundreds of Russian marines, and are being accompanied by combat vessels.

Remember when the official party line was that ships are being sent to assist in the evacuation of Russian citizens? Looks like not even Russia is going with that anymore.

While officially Russia has claimed the ships have been deployed to partake in an exercise to "improve the management, maintenance and testing of the interaction of naval forces,” the Times quoted the diplomat as saying the marines were meant to deter the West from deploying ground forces in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Meanwhile in Turkey from Al Jazeera:

NATO has begun deploying Patriot missiles in Turkey in a bid to protect the country from the threat of war from neighbouring Syria, according to the US military's European Command (EUCOM).


EUCOM said in a statement on Friday that US military personnel and equipment were sent to Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey to support NATO's Patriot battery deployment at Ankara's request.


Up to 400 troops are expected to be transported to Tukey within the week to operate two Patriot batteries supporting NATO's mission there. Additional equipment is scheduled to arrive by sea this month.


"The deployment of six Patriot batteries, including two each from Germany and The Netherlands, is in response to Turkey's request to NATO," EUCOM said in the statement issued from its offices in the southwestern German city of Stuttgart.


"The forces will augment Turkey's air defence capabilities and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the Alliance's border," it added.

Yes, we too find it amusing when by de-escalation the US armed forces mean anything but.

Which then leaves the only open question: when?

Russia should be prepared for any developments, as it believes the situation in Syria might reach its peak before Easter,” the Times quoted the diplomatic source as saying.

In other words, having been unable to convince the world that Iran is a terminal threat to "democracy" everywhere and the window of destroying its nuclear processing facilities now officially closed, and with both the Lebanon and the Gaza conflicts hibernating, the only loophole left to escalate the region is now Syria, where the event timeline now appears to culminate in 2-3 months.

Finally, let's not forget the US naval presence in the region, whose most recent update via Stratfor is shown below. Just need a few more US ships in the eastern mediterranean for things to get fun.

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Ghordius's picture

it's still not clear if this Syrian civil war has costed 40'000 or 60'000 lives

and yet there are some who don't notices that, that ask for moar war

Dr Benway's picture

So what do you suggest as policy then? Seems this is no-win all around. Just leave them alone and let them kill the heck out of each other and may the most brutal win? Not saying you are wrong.

Careless Whisper's picture

According to that chart up there ^ from Stratfor, almost all our ships are In Home Port. Just sayin'.

in4mayshun's picture

Maybe later. Right now I want to play Thermo-nuclear war.

Bleeding Fart's picture


Another predilection of doom.

I love the Bears too, but I'm hoping this is just another fart in the wind.

(Or maybe the potential consequences of this conflict are too horrifying to imagine.)

knukles's picture

Well of course the insurrectionist forces are part of the allahkaduh that appears the West started and continues to support (with guns, etc) in it's revolutionary fervor to expand the Caliphate across the entirety of the MENA region ensuring a new and improved enemy for the long war.

This is not a mystery, hard to grasp or understand.  In fact, the deep philosophical messages of early classic now repressed Bugs Bunny cartoons are far murkier...

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

We should take away all guns in America and ship them to the SLA! That will fix everything! @sarc

jeff montanye's picture

if the u.s. had listened to general marshall and not supported the creation of israel all of this would not be happening.

even if the foreign policy of ike was still that of the u.s., the arabs would not be at war or near war with the west and fundamentalist islam would be a far weaker force.  modernity has many charms but the utter israel first of u.s. (and to a lesser degree european) foreign policy negates it, especially combined with the brutality of israel.

One World Mafia's picture

What a grip the propagandists have over US news. Unlike ZH, big media is editing out "Al Qaeda terrorists" from Assad's description of the rebels.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

You mean something like this?

Or maybe Mississippi Bugs? One Caliphate is easier for the CIA to run and manage for oil supplies, cutbacks are everywhere........

(Note - not endosing the Bugs video, just pointing out the "changing" message over the years.)

Jack Burton's picture

Tijuana Donkey Show, It has been a hell of a long time ago, but I remember one drunken liberty when we headed from San Diego on liberty and ended up is some slease pit down in TJ and managed to catch act one of a real true to life TJ donkey show. Best be drunk out your mind to appreciate the performance. I thought all the talk onboard ship about these shows was BS, I was proven wrong. Amazing!

General Decline's picture

The snow village that peacefully existed on my bay window ledge for the past 30 days is no longer.  Once I had heard they hated me for my freedoms (I know this because Fox News told me so), I decided to rain hell-fire down on their peaceful, isolationist heads.  It’s now as if they had never existed.  Being the victor in this conflict, I will take on the responsibility for writing the history books.  It will be the official story so there will be ne no need to do any further research.



Lets_Eat_Ben's picture

Not very good for a first speech I'm afraid. There was some bright spots, but overall I'd have to give "F". Maybe he'll get better with time. Mass coersion is a finely tuned skill; he just needs more practice. Does Yale have a Syrian campus?

We have to wade through a sea of bullshit to get at any semblence of truth from the media. How about we quit killing people until we have a free and open information communication network. How can we know what action to take when we're being lied to?

gmrpeabody's picture

Doesn't look like the U.S. is positioning for a war..., maybe somebody else is.

francis_sawyer's picture

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

francis_sawyer's picture

WTF rock have you been hiding under for the last 33 years?


Dr Benway's picture

Aah Animal House! Have seen it but it was a long time ago.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

As a younger man, I only saw the TV version, and never understood the briefcase gag.,,,,, Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life young man, unless your Barney Frank.

Dr Benway's picture

Yeah, lol. When young I saw some Arnold Schwarzenegger movies that were censored into incomprehensibility

Matt's picture

As to your question about which course of action we should take, that presents a complex ethical dilemna. 

If NATO goes in there, they will bomb the place with depleted Uranium weapons, which will cause infertility, miscarriages, birth defects and luekemia in children for an unknown amount of time into the future.

However, by depopulating this area, rather than allowing the populace there to continue to grow, NATO may prevent larger scale wars in the future, in which a larger number of hypothetical unborn people would die in these hypothetical future wars.'s picture

And then there are the unknown unknowns.

Element's picture

DU is used as a penetrator against armour and also for its secondary pyro-incendiary property, but primarily used against military vehicles via anti-armour missiles and anti tank rounds. It is not used at all in conventional bombs, as far as I'm aware (except maybe for a deep penetration anti-bunker weapon). Most militaries replace DU with gold or copper in shaped charge warheads.

DU is in fact far more often used as an armour material in tanks, due to its high density. But the health risks of DU are not from its radioactivity, which is actually low to negligible, but due to the fact that it is a heavy-metal that can turn into an oxidized dust.

But lead in bullets is also a heavy metal, and in lab testing if animals ingested lead oxide they suffered the very same symptoms as from ingesting DU oxide. the radiation is effectively irrelevant.

Rochefort10's picture

It was the Dutch that bombed Pearl Harbor. Those shady f*ckers were never neutral.

Stackers's picture

hmm, so deploying new weapon systems into politically unstable regions is now considered a  "de-escalaton" ..... uh's picture

How else you gonna bomb 'em for their freedom?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ f_s

Ha ha, looks like someone missed your humor...

francis_sawyer's picture

In 1978... francis_sawyer went to see (among other things)...

Animal House, The Deer Hunter, & Midnight Express

Looks like someone else never made it past: Battlestar Galactica, Gay USA, Ice Castles, & Oliver's Story

slaughterer's picture

Fuck it, "Jaws"

"I think we are going to need a bigger boat."'s picture


Dawn of the Dead


Dawn of the Dead was filmed at a nearby mall. Years later I worked at the Radio Shack and we used to go smoke by a fountain where one of the zombies got blasted.

knukles's picture

How amy folks just don't get per my comment above.


I am on to you's picture

What is 200 soldiers and Patriots then,if not war,oh sorry me,its defence,over there in Turkey=Iran Guatemale Chile Argentina Brasil Vietnam Irak Afghanistan Libia Sudan Somalia Yemen Pakistan,the game is Risk:

Played it,and won the world,i took all the Oil,so simpel is that!

What is the hard part, is called:PEACE,a word lost through history!If it ever ment anything!


TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

Peace is a temporary condition between two wars.

Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Hmm... just notced this too. Not very usual, maybe because those pesky "moskits" and "granits".

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

I canT wait to find out if those things work.

jonjon831983's picture

Noticed that last time as well... but then I'd assume battle groups do carry a lot of personnel and material.  Maybe they came back a little light.

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Yeah you would almost think they are afraid of the new Chinese ballistic anti ship missile Dong-Feng 21.

Element's picture



"According to that chart up there ^ from Stratfor, almost all our ships are In Home Port. Just sayin'."


What we can be sure of is the Russian, Chinese, Syrians and Iranians are all swapping info back and forth between them, and all know exactly where the US navy is, and also what each individual ship is doing, at every moment. If the US wanted to intervene they would have solid indications of it in advance. It appears they wont be. They've given up trying to intimidate Damascus with carrier air power and missiles. That didn't work and it isn't going to work. Lavrov said it very plainly about three weeks back, that the west has zero stomach for intervening directly in Syria. At best the foreign-backed rebels will get indirect support only.

It remains to be seen if the US is actually wanting to avoid a serious spiraling regional conflict. We'll soon see, from the disposition of US and NATO troops in Jordan and Turkey. Lebanon is waiting to see which way the wind blows and Iraq will be hoping like hell it defuses.

The fly in the ointment, as always, is Saudi extremism and their protracted funding of Al Qaeda. For which their leadership should already have been overthrown, and bought up on charges, and hung until dead. And if they get into a conflict with Iran and loose their cash-cow to a sustained missile barrage of epic proportions, that almost certainly will happen to them thereafter, in one form or another.

Winston Churchill's picture

That line in the sand just bacame a trench.

Russia just raised a middle finger to the US.

Which means the Chinese are ready too.

Interesting times to die in.

Ghordius's picture

it's still a bit more complicated than that

btw, trenches are often a good sign, it often means less blood being spilled