Earlier today, Al Arabiya made waves in the energy market following reports that a Russian ship carrying special forces had arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus, previously demonstrated here to be a key strategic asset in the Mediterranean. This news was promptly denied by RIA, which said that "there were no Russian military ships off Syria coast" and that the Iman ship is a tanker which is merely conducting resource support functions. Furthermore, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the crew of Iman consists solely of "civilian personnel, which is being guarded." That may or may not be the case, but has not stopped ABC from blasting, minutes ago, a headline that "Russian anti-terror troops arrive in Syria" a development that a "United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions." Which begs the question: is everyone now dead set on having war in Syria, and by proxy, Iran?
Russia, one of President Bashar al-Assad's strongest allies despite international condemnation of the government's violent crackdown on the country's uprising, has repeatedly blocked the United Nations Security Council's attempts to halt the violence, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to start another war.
Now the Russian Black Sea fleet's Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency.
The Iman replaced another Russian ship "which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evacuation of Russian citizens," the Black Sea Fleet told Interfax.
Here is where ABC's report gets a little screwy:
RIA Novosti, a news outlet with strong ties to the Kremlin, trumpeted the news in a banner headline that appeared only on its Arabic language website. The Russian embassy to the U.S. and to the U.N. had no comment, saying they have "no particular information on" the arrival of a Russian anti-terrorism squad to Syria.
Defense Ministry denied the information circulated a number of media that the coast of Syria are ostensibly Russian warships.
"No Russian warships, performing tasks from the shores of Syria, no. In the Syrian port of Tartus 10 days of the ship auxiliary fleet tanker" Iman "which performs the tasks logistics - the replenishment of fuel and food - of the Black Sea and Northern Fleets, which provides security shipping in the Gulf of Aden anti-piracy ", - told RIA Novosti representative of management information and the Defense Ministry.
Previously, some Russian and foreign media reported that the Black Sea Fleet tanker "Iman" on board which is a group of Marines, ostensibly to perform combat missions off the coast of Syria.
Which is rather odd - one would imagine that when reporting on such potential warmongering scenarios fact-checking would be rather important. It appears not.
Either way, ABC continues:
Last week Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had no plans to send troops to Syria.
"As for the question whether I consider it necessary to confront the United States in Syria and ensure our military presence there… in order to take part in military actions -- no. I believe this would be against Russia's national interests," Lavrov told lawmakers, according to RIA Novosti.
So... Buy crude or yes? Because it has been a whopping 48 hours since we heard anything from Israel ever since its security council proceeded to give the go ahead in a 8-6 vote to attack Iran.