Russia Dispatches Sub, Cruiser; UK Sends 6 Jets To Cyprus; China Repeats "Dire Consequences" Warning
Some took a prior report the that the "developed" nations would use Cyprus as a warplane strike base just as a leaked memo predicted in 2011, skeptically. Today we finally got official confirmation from that Britain that it is sending six RAF Typhoon jets to Cyprus "as a defensive measure amid growing tensions over Syria and talks of Western military intervention." It's defensive in case Syria launches an airborne assault of the UK we take it?
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the air-to-air interceptor jets would be deployed to the British Akrotiri base in Cyprus on Thursday.
"This is purely a prudent and precautionary measure to ensure the protection of UK interests and the defence of our Sovereign Base Areas at a time of heightened tension in the wider region," the spokesman said.
"This is a movement of defensive assets operating in an air-to-air role only. They are not deploying to take part in any military action against Syria."
And just as expected, with the US already piling up naval assets in both the Mediterranean and the Arabian Sea, Russia is responding in kind, and has dispatched a submarine and a cruiser to the Mediterranean. CBS reports:
Russian news service Interfax is citing military sources as saying Moscow is dispatching an anti-submarine ship and a cruiser to the Mediterranean. Interfax says the moves are being made due to the "well-known situation" there -- referring to the Syria crisis. But a Russian government news service, Rianovosti, says the reassignments are part of a planned rotation and aren't linked with the situation in Syria.
This comes as the US decided to postpone the pullout of its Nimitz aircraft carrier which is near the Straits of Hormuz currently, and which was supposed to return home. The Navy has ordered the Nimitz, which is in the Indian Ocean, to stay for now.
Finally, keeping things exciting, China reiterated that the West should stay the hell out. SCMP reports:
Chinese state media warned the West against strikes on Syria on Thursday as momentum mounted for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to be punished over an alleged chemical weapons attack.
In an editorial headed “No excuse for strikes”, the state-run China Daily said the US and its Western allies were “acting as judge, jury and executioner”.
“Any military intervention into Syria would have dire consequences for regional security and violate the norms governing international relations,” it said, adding such a move “will only exacerbate the crisis and could have unforeseen and unwelcome consequences”.
Making a comparison with the war in Iraq, it said the international community should not allow “itself to be led by the nose by US intelligence, which after all was responsible for claiming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction”.
The foreign ministry has advised any Chinese citizens in Syria to leave as soon as possible, and recent media reports from China's First Financial Daily have revealed that Chinese entrepreneurs and businessmen working in Syria have begun pulling out of the country.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Syria surnamed Feng told First Financial Daily reporters that major Chinese-funded enterprises remaining in Syria were few, and most would "soon withdaw or reduce staff".
So with the unscheduled early pullout of UN inspectors from Syria on Saturday morning as was reported earlier, we know the who, we know the how, and just may have learned the when.
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