Presenting The Russian Naval Base In Tartus, Syria, Or Good Luck UN Security Council

Tyler Durden's picture


The world is suddenly aflutter in its usual fake indignation (how many times have we seen this) having realized what has been going on in Syria for months on end. It was none other than the Headhunter In Chief who "condemned the "unspeakable assault" Saturday by Syrian forces on the city of Homs, a sustained attack that activists say killed more than 200 people in what may be the bloodiest confrontation of the uprising against Bashar Assad's regime.  The assault sparked fierce international outcry ahead of a meeting Saturday of the U.N. Security Council, where the U.S. and other nations are pushing for a vote on an Arab League-backed resolution calling for Assad to step down." Needless to say, just like in the case of Libya, both China and Russia are now a confirmed veto for any security council resolution that enforces a regime change, no fly zone, or what have you. Only this time the stake for Russia (and China as well, as Syria is nothing but a gateway to Iran), are far higher. And as Zero Hedge noted regarding Iranian developments yesterday, "We've seen this play by play many times before and frankly at this point the posturing is getting just silly. What we do want to find out, however, is how will Russia get involved in all of this. Because if recent actions are any precedent, we fully expect Putin to send an aircraft carrier, purely symbolically, in the Arabian Sea himself, just to indicate that any invasion, pardon, liberation, of Iran crude, will first have to go through him. And not to mention China... or India." Sure enough, speaking of aircraft carriers, it was none other than the Russian navy's aircraft carrier Kuznetsov that landed at the Russian naval base in Tartus "in support of the al-Assad regime" back in November, and it is the Tartus base that is arguably one of the most critical locations for the US military vis-a-vis developments in the middle east. And here is why Russia will block any attempt by the west to impose its own will in Syria.

The Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria.

Tartus hosts a Soviet-era naval supply and maintenance base, under a 1971 agreement with Syria, which is still staffed by Russian naval personnel. The base was established during the Cold War to support the Soviet Navy's fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. During the 1970s, similar support points were located in Egypt and Latakia, Syria. In 1977, the Egyptian support bases at Alexandria and Mersa Matruh were evacuated and the ships and property were transferred to Tartus, where the naval support base was transformed into the 229th Naval and Estuary Vessel Support Division. Seven years later, the Tartus support point was upgraded to the 720th Logistics Support Point.

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and its Mediterranean fleet, the 5th Mediterranean Squadron which was composed of ships from the North Sea Fleet and the Black Sea Fleet, ceased its existence. Since then, there have been occasional expeditions by Russian Navy vessels and submarines to the Mediterranean Sea. The naval logistics support base in Syria is now part of the Black Sea Fleet. It consists of three floating docks of which one is operational, a floating workshop, storage facilities, barracks and other facilities.

Since Russia forgave Syria of three-fourths, or $9.6 billion, of its $13.4 billion Soviet-era debt and became its main arms supplier in 2006, Russia and Syria have conducted talks about allowing Russia to develop and enlarge its naval base, so that Russia can strengthen its naval presence in the Mediterranean. Amid Russia's deteriorating relations with the West, because of the 2008 South Ossetia War‎ and plans to deploy a US missile defense shield in Poland, President Assad agreed to the port’s conversion into a permanent Middle East base for Russia’s nuclear-armed warships. Since 2009, Russia has been renovating the Tartus naval base and dredging the port to allow access for its larger naval vessels.

On September 8, 2008, ten Russian warships docked in Tartus. According to Lebanese-Syrian commentator Joseph Farah, the flotilla which moved to Tartus consisted of the Moskva cruiser and four nuclear missile submarines. Two weeks later, Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said the nuclear-powered battlecruiser Peter The Great, accompanied by three other ships, sailed from the Northern Fleet's base of Severomorsk. The ships would cover about 15,000 nautical miles (28,000 km) to conduct joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy. Dygalo refused to comment on reports in the daily Izvestia claiming that the ships were to make a stopover in the Syrian port of Tartus on their way to Venezuela. Russian officials said the Soviet-era base there was being renovated to serve as a foothold for a permanent Russian navy presence in the Mediterranean.

In 2009, RIA Novosti reported that the base would be made fully operational to support anti-piracy operations. It would also support a Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean as a base for "guided-missile cruisers and even aircraft carriers".

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Mongo's picture

Luck, is there such an element in todays environment?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Why do people cite DEBKA?  What are its credentials?

Joeman34's picture

Why would Al-Assad stage a bloody raid the day before a UN meeting.  This guy has a death wish...

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Yeah, or, he didn't.  Can you say, "False flag"?

greyghost's picture

well i for one am questioning why only the  city of homs is the only one we hear about? are there no other cities in syria? is this much to do about nothing? the revolution nobody showed up for? well i do see that the city of homs is on one end of the bekaa valley with the jew boys on the other end of the valley. and the poor lebanese stuck in the middle...ouch.

palmereldritch's picture

well i for one am questioning why only the  city of homs is the only one we hear about?

More sacrifice as a part of their sun god worship?

The Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, who was emperor from 222 to 235, was Syrian. His cousin Elagabalus, who was emperor from 218 to 222, was also Syrian and his family held hereditary rights to the high priesthood of the sun god El-Gabal at Emesa (modern Homs) in Syria

Knights Templar reunion?

Speed bump on the road to Armageddon?

trav7777's picture

Putin only has one aircraft carrier.  It can't launch planes with heavy strike packages because it is a STOBAR carrier with SU27s.  As a force projection tool, it's of relatively low value compared to CATOBAR CVs

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Damn it Trav, we were discussing important Illuminatti shit, why'd you have to get technical?

smb12321's picture

Watch the effing news where you'll see (almost daily) reports from Damascus, Homs, Hama, Daraa and even Latakia.  You Tube has some pretty graphic videos of protesters being slaughtered by forces loyal to Assad.  How can anyone with an atom of sense say this is about nothing when it is everyday folks being killed.  Is this some kind of alternate universe where Syria is a bastion of liberty and Assad is Abraham Lincoln?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Abe ain't who you think he is.

thatthingcanfly's picture

What? A murdering psychopathic tyrant who set the precedent for (among other things) the Nazi holocaust (according to them!) and whose visage should be blasted off the face of Mt. Rushmore?


Ain't he?

smb12321's picture

I know that!   He's the chef of the Grand Lord Master on the mother ship.   Haven't all ZH posters seen the You Tube video proving that beyond a doubt?

pazmaker's picture

SMB it is because they want to believe that everything is a controlled conspiracy that runs like clockwork like as if all peoples are puppits being controlled constantly by the powerful elite.....   It seems like those that comment on ZH think everything is a conspiracy or on the opposite side of the spectrum believe everything they hear in the MSM, when the truth is most likely found somewhere in the middle.

palmereldritch's picture

You will never know the middle without plumbing the depths of the spectrum's limits

smb12321's picture

It's a no-win situation.  Their frustration has let them believe that world events happen not because folks are  lazy, stupid, evil or greedy.  No, a nefarious cabal has been working for centuries to guide history.  The trouble is that the sound economic message cannot be heard over the rambling.  And then there's the contradiction of talking about liberty while clapping for Iran,  Russia and Syria.   

greyghost's picture

and israel is nothing more than a communist state, what with all those communes. didn't you learn that karl marx and his buddy engels were jewish and communism is a jewish invention? why do you think that there was such a hatred between the nazis and the communists? which came first? was it all really about communism or was it about the jew? or could it be about both, since the communist leaders in germany were jewish? what was "the white rose" fifth leaflet in munich 1943?  so many questions and so little time! and by the way...just how does one tell exactly where in the middle east the you tube video was really shot....syria...cairo...israel...could be shot on the back lot in hollywood?????? homs is the goto city of the lame stream media!

trav7777's picture

Karl Mordechai and Lev Bronstein...just another way to hide and pretend you're something you're not.  Like Sumner Redstone or Ralph Lauren.

Do not identify

smb12321's picture

It's official.  You are truly delusional.  Your "defense" (that any event you don't like is staged) is aikin to holocaust deniers and moon landing skeptics. That anyone could intimate that the slaughter in Syria (reported by numerous independent accounts including videos) is staged ranks as one of the best (worst).  

What's astounding is that in the 21st century we are STILL obsessed over somebody's religion.  Postitively tribal. Using your "logic" the American Revolution was invalid since Thomas Paine was an atheist, Lafayette was a Frenchman and Washington owned slaves.

chumbawamba's picture

Thou idiot.

Bugs Bunny is also on television.  Do you expect to go find him in some retirement neighborhood somewhere in North Hollywood?

I am Chumbawamba.

meizu's picture

You assume that most of the violence are not committed by the muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army, who are blowing up civilian buses and killing civilians.  And what about Yemen, where 4000 people are killed, and its dictator is now in vacationing in US?

Savvy's picture


Hollywood loaned Syrian rebels a few actors. That's your effing news.

greyghost's picture

wow savvy hadn't seen that. i am not surprised. i always try to see things by "who has the most to gain" rule. all please note that now the good smb12321 has no statement. however smb12321 is off rambling on about thomas paine??? layafette???? and geo. washington?????

citrine's picture

"Last night, after 2 days of relative calm, there were reports that the Free Syrian Army had won some key positions in northern Homs, in the Bayada district, and the FSA had captured perhaps 75 pro-regime soldiers. There had also been reports of several major defections in the area. Despite a week of loses (predicted loses, but loses all the same), the opposition had used a few armored vehicles it had captured to score some strategic victories. At least in one city, it appeared that the FSA was still standing its ground." Dany Abdul Daym

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I think Syria is about to get hot.

catacl1sm's picture

That city is a 'rebel' strong-hold. It's the most active, afaik.

caconhma's picture

Assad masses loyal troops in Damascus after he was warned of a military coup
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 30, 2012

According to exclusive reports reaching debkafile, President Bashar Assad Sunday, Jan. 30, pulled in the Syrian Republican Guard and the 4th armored divisions commanded by his brother Maher Assad from the northern rebel centers and over to Damascus. He ordered them into battle positions in the capital for the first time in the ten month uprising after receiving an intelligence tipoff that western powers had won over one of the armored division commanders posted in the capital and persuaded him to stage a coup d'etat to topple him.

The renegade general, whose identity is unknown, was reported to be planning to take advantage of the absence of the most trusted regime troops in trouble spots across the country to lead 300 tanks into the capital and seize power.
The conspirators were planning to make their move on the night of Monday Jan. 30 or early Tuesday Jan. 31, just before the UN Security Council was to convene in New York and air plans for him to step down. The putsch would have presented its members with the accomplished fact of Assad's overthrow by the military.

The information passed to Assad, apparently from an external source, did not name the division commander who accepted this role from Western hands. If it turns out to be true, the scheme would strongly recall the US-led NATO-Qatari-Jordanian operation for the Libyan rebels to seize power in Libya by taking Tripoli by storm in the third week of August 2011.
Forewarned, the Syrian ruler is making every effort to ward off the threatened coup.

debkafile's military sources report that, aside from the Republican Guard and 4th division which Assad recalled to the capital, present there too are the 1st, 3rd and 9th armored divisions.

The fight rebel forces put up at the gates of Damascus Monday night was perceived by the Assad regime as part of the coup conspiracy. Western and military sources described the combat as a search, arrest and kill operation to wipe out the last vestiges of resistance around the capital, rather than battles.
Monday night, the White House issued a statement saying the UN Security Council must not let the Syrian President Assad continue the violence.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to address the Council meeting Tuesday. She has urged the forum to act before the violence in Syria spills over and destabilizes its neighbors.

Moscow has made it very clear in recent weeks that it will on no account let the Assad regime go the way of Qaddafi. Russia is adamant about vetoing the Security Council motion the US and European powers are gathering Tuesday in New Yorkto table in support of the Arab League transition plan for a national unity government to rise in Damascus within two months and implement Assad's handover of power to vice president Farouk a-Shara. A Russian bid to bring the opponents to the negotiating table failed after the main Syrian opposition party demanded that Assad step down first.

At least 27 people were killed Monday in the central city of Homs – which was heavily shelled again - the northern province of Idlib and southern province of Daraa, where the revolt against Assad began in mid-March. Another 41 deaths were reported Sunday.The Syrian regime stepped up the violence in the days before the Security Council session to quell resistance and demonstrate its grip on the country.
debkafile reported earlier Monday, Jan. 30:

Ten months after the Syrian people launched an uprising against its ruler, Bashar Assad, if not yet safe in the saddle, has recovered the bulk of his army's support and his grip on most parts of the country

Protesters have mostly been pushed into tight corners in the flashpoint towns and villages, especially in the north, hemmed in by troops and security forces loyal to the president.

Monday, Jan. 30, Syrian forces were close to purging the suburbs and villages around Damascus of rebel fighters. The operation began Sunday with 2,000 troops backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers. Six soldiers were killed when their vehicle blew up on a roadside bomb near Sahnaya, east of the capital.

The rebel Free Syrian Army and opposition groups continue to report heavy fighting in the Damascus area, and especially the international airport where they claim to have prevented Assad's wife and children from fleeing the country. However, military watchers do not confirm either the fighting or the Assad family's attempted flight.

While both sides spin propaganda, the extreme hyperbole of opposition claims attests to their hard straits and the Syrian president's success in weathering their efforts and the huge sacrifices in blood paid by the people (estimated at 8,000 dead and tens of thousands injured) to oust him.

Having got rid of the Arab League monitoring mission, which gave up in despair of halting the savage bloodbath, Assad will shrug off the Arab-Western backed motion put before the UN Security Council Tuesday, Jan. 30, calling on him to step down and hand power to his vice president Farouk a-Shara. He will treat it as yet another failed effort by the combined Arab-Western effort to topple his regime.

The conflict is not over. More ups and downs may still be to come and there are signs of sectarian war evolving. But for now, Assad's survival is of crucial relevance in seven Middle East arenas:

1. The Tehran-Damascus-Hizballah bloc is strengthened, joined most recently by Iraq;

2. Iran chalks up a first-class strategic achievement for counteracting the US and the Saudi-led Gulf Arab emirates' presentation of the Islamic regime as seriously weighed down under by the crushing burden of crushing international sanctions imposed to halt its drive for a nuclear bomb.

3. Hizballah has won a chance to recover from the steep slide of its fortunes in Lebanon. The Pro-Iranian Lebanese Shiite group stands to regain the self-assurance which ebbed during Assad's hard times against massive dissidence, re-consolidate its bonds with Tehran, Damascus and Baghdad and rebuild its political clout in Beirut.

4. It is hard to calculate the enormous extent of the damage Saudi Arabia and Turkey have suffered from their colossal failure in Syria. The Palestinians too have not emerged unscathed.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and their security agencies, which invested huge sums in the Syrian rebellion's removal of the Assad regime, were trounced by Syria's security and intelligence services and the resources Iran provided to keep Bashar Assad afloat.

The Arab League, which for the first time tried its hand at intervening in an Arab uprising by sending observers into Syrian trouble spots to cut down the violence, watched impotently as those observers ran for their lives. Assad for his part first accepted than ignored the League's peace plan.
Turkey, too, after indicating its military would step across the border to support the Syrian resistance and giving the FSA bases of operation, backed off for the sake of staying on good terms with Iran.

5. Russia and China have gained credibility in the Middle East and points against the United States by standing up for Assad and pledging their veto votes against any strong UN Security Council motions against him. Moscow's arms sales and naval support for the Assad regime and China's new military and economic accords with Persian Gulf emirates have had the effect of pushing the United States from center stage of the Arab Revolt, held in the Egyptian and Libyan revolutions, to the sidelines of Middle East action.

6. The Syrian ruler survival and the cohesion of his armed forces have contributed to the tightening of the Iranian military noose around Israel.

The Syrian army was in sustained operation for almost a year without breaking and suffered only marginal defections. It is still in working shape with valuable experience under its belt in rapid deployment between battlefronts. Syria, Iran and Hizballah have streamlined the cooperation among their armies and their intelligence arms.

JOYFUL's picture

Not sure of your purpose in posting such obvious COINTELPRO crap here, but assuming it was benign, thank you for the opportunity to peer into the mind of the dissimulationist.Some choice morsels, worthy of a bit of deconstruction:

a)"Having got rid of the Arab League monitoring mission, which gave up in despair of halting the savage bloodbath"

That blantant attempt to de-legitimize Syrian sovereignity by imposing the presence of puppet-oil satrapies failed miserably when they were unable to even get their own stooges[160 monitors, after one month of enquiries] to comply with a report confirming any signs of a "popular movement" against the regime, or repression against  it's own people. Here is the link to the official report's English translation - which was suppressed by the GCC before it was leaked!    Savage bloodbath of purple prose!!

b)"The rebel Free Syrian Army and opposition groups continue to report heavy fighting in the Damascus area,"

The so called rebel Free Syrian Army is an oxymoronic example of doublespeak worthy of Orwell's best moments: it is nothing more or less than yet another CIAQueda mercenary force literally commanded by the same monsters who were employed to attack Libyans on behalf of their ZATO masters  -  - Army of trough swilling swine would be a more accurate nomenclature, except I got nothing against swine, swillin or otherwise..."opposition groups "?!!?? - see below

c)Ten months after the Syrian people launched an uprising against its ruler,

Should be edited to read "ten months after the phony "syrian observatory for human rights" was tasked with inventing pretexts via a pr campaign to set up a boots on the ground invasion"[see ] ....

and saving the best for last,

d)The Syrian ruler survival and the cohesion of his armed forces have contributed to the tightening of the Iranian military noose around Israel.

The Iranian noose around Israel....what can you say to that one!!?!?! I guess it's totally fitting that the zio-propagandists indulge themselves in fantasies of closet erotic asphyxiation, just like their banker buddies' preferred way to off themselves! 

jeff montanye's picture

and while we are at it, which is more morally reprehensible, killing civilians in support of one's own clearly threatened regime in one's own country (putatively assad) or killing them in other countries where the threat to one's own regime is tangential at best (obama, not even putatively since he brags about it)?  things that make you go hmmm?

The Deleuzian's picture

I love the word 'CIAqueda'...'Al C.I.A.da' is a bit better though...It cuts and slashes like a mashete through the shrubbery...

smb12321's picture

Yeah, everyone knows Assad is actually a tolerant believer in justice and liberty for all people.  (LOL)  Jesus Christ, the lunacy we descend to justify our ideology.  Israel wants him in power since although he's a thug at least Syria's under his control. He's simply the new Kim of Syria since daddy slaughtered tens of thousands. The REAL conflict is religious - wrestling control of the nation from the small Alawite sect that controls almost every institution.  Oh yeah, and the right to post Web comments without getting shot.

phyuckyiu's picture

Riiiiiiiiight, because as we all know, bloggers now post without fear of reprisal in Egypy, Libya, and Tunisia, Right? RIGHT? FAIL.

greyghost's picture

yeah and israel is so tolerant as long as your jewish...heaven help anyone not of that stripe. soooo israel wants assad because he is stable???? now i am LOL. so just where did israel go wrong with lebanon??????

rbg81's picture

No one is perfect, but compared to their Arab neighbors, Israel is a island of tolerance.  Just ask the Christians in Egypt how the "Arab Spring" is going.  Islamists want to purge the entire Middle East of anyone who isn't their flavor of Muslim. 

chumbawamba's picture

You know what else you learn on TeeVee?  That Israel is "the only democracy in the Middle East", that Barak Hussein "Nigger" Obama brought us Hope and Change, and that we can spend our way into prosperity.

With what other brilliant insights could you care to dazzle us, oh informed one?

I am Chumbawamba.

jeff montanye's picture

european jews would have been safer settling in the immediate environs of the nazi death camps than going to palestine.  far, far safer.  and so would have been the rest of us.  thank you harry truman.

Chuck Walla's picture

"I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war."


Braack Obama

Dugald's picture

A Dumb war....Oh right, as opposed to a smart 79 years I have not come across a single smart war....then again could be I'm dumb and missed, please, feel free to correct me..

catacl1sm's picture

The only ware we've been able to prevent in the last century was by JFK, during the Cuban missile crisis.

Calmyourself's picture

Wow, nice quote braack.. I am only opposed to dumb presidents..

PontifexMaximus's picture

Because only with this ultimate determination he gets russian support in the UN, only doing so, as crucial it sounds...and is.

dogismyth's picture

what are the credentials of ZH?  Tyler Durden?

dogismyth's picture is a simple question.  What is his (?) background and credentials?  Are you illiterate?

hondaicivic's picture

Credentials: The internet(free of government manipulation)

Background: Ph.D in Non government-sanctioned education


Conclusion: Beholden to no one.


Therefore: STFU dogismyth...

dogismyth's picture

oh...I see now.  And maybe I can offer you a refinance of your house.  I have the same credential.

Now try answering the question....bully.  Or is that beyond your capacity?

smb12321's picture

You don't understand their mentality.  You can agree on monetary policy, debt, banks, etc but if you disagree with them you get an avalanche of STFU or You're nuts or Get out of here.  I mean, it's just so damn juvenile to scream & currse at someone who happens to disagree with.  You have to wonder what's going on.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Well let's see, he was just quoted as a "source" from the best "source" on popular TV.  He was just used as a "source" on the most popular internet news site.  Tyler only has called the macro and micro from finance to geo-politics for years.  I think Tyler speaks for himself.