Iran, China Conduct Joint Naval Drills

Last summer, when the Syrian conflict was near its peak under the Obama administration, China unexpectedly warned it was ready to enter the proxy war when in a stunning announcement, Xinhua reported that Beijing was prepared to side with Syria and Russia, against the US-led alliance, and that Xi and Assad had agreed that the Chinese military will have closer ties with Syria and provide humanitarian aid to the civil war torn nation.

A high-ranking People's Liberation Army officer also said that the training of Syrian personnel by Chinese instructors has also been discussed: the Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China's Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij, Xinhua added. Guan said China had consistently played a positive role in pushing for a political resolution in Syria. "China and Syria's militaries have a traditionally friendly relationship, and China's military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Syria's military," Xinhua quoted Guan.

Then last month, as the lingering Syrian proxy war dragged on, we reported that Moscow was hoping "for China's help in solving the Syrian crisis and restoring the country."

As Russia's deputy foreign minister Igor Morgulov said on May 29, "our cooperation with China on Syria at various international venues is unprecedented. We blocked six attempts to pass anti-Syrian resolutions in the U.N. Security Council," Morgulov said at "Russia and China: Taking on a New Quality of Bilateral Relations" international conference adding that "together we call for a peaceful and political-diplomatic solution to conflicts, without double standards, unilateral action or attempts at ousting regimes. Our approaches coincide, among other things, on the uncompromising fight against terrorism."

And while the Syrian conflict has taken a back seat in recent weeks to the latest crisis to grip the Gulf region, namely the economic and territorial blockade of Qatar by its Arab neighbors, overnight China made an unexpected appearance, not surprisingly perhaps siding again with the biggest supporter of the Assad regime, when as AP reported Iran's navy conducted a joint exercise with a Chinese fleet near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. It was only the second time the Chinese flotilla has visited the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas since 2014, and comes at a tense moment as the Senate last week passed a new round of sanctions against Tehran.

According to Iran's official IRNA news agency, Sunday's drill included an Iranian warship as well as two Chinese warships, a logistics ship and a Chinese helicopter that arrived in Iran's port of Bandar Abbas last week, and adds that the scheduled exercise "came before the departure of the Chinese fleet for Muscat, Oman."

Some more details from RT:

A total of four vessels and two helicopters displayed their military capabilities on Sunday during a day of joint exercises in the strait connecting the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.


The Chinese fleet, which includes the Chang Chun guided-missile destroyer, the Chao Hu replenishment ship, the Jin Zhou frigate, and a helicopter, arrived in the Iranian southern port of Bandar Abbas on Thursday. An Iranian destroyer and a helicopter joined them for the drills.


The exercises, which had been planned in advance, are aimed at promoting interaction and strengthening confidence between the navies of the two nations, according to Rear Admiral Shen Hao, Commander of China Navy Task Force Group 150, as cited by Iran’s IRNA news agency.

IRNA added that Iran's Commander of the First Naval Base Rear Admiral Amir Hossein Azad in a joint press conference with commander of Chinese visiting’ fleet-150’ in Bandar Abbas on Thursday evening said that the maneuver will be held in the east of the Hormuz Strait and north of the Indian Ocean. Describing the "optics" of the drill, the commander added that "in fighting against the ominous phenomenon of piracy, defending trade fleets, and carrying out relief and rescue operations, the two navies have collaboration and exchange useful information." What was left unsaid is that China was implicitly siding with Iran - a key source of crude oil for Beijing in the past year - in the country's diplomatic spat with Washington.

Rear Admiral Shen Hao, Commander of China Navy Task Force Group 150 confirmed as much, saying that "holding the maneuver had already been planned and the successful execution of the program will help develop more friendship, promote interaction and strengthen confidence between the two navies of Iran and China."

He called Iran and China two ancient and civilized countries of Asia with a long history of friendship, adding that by exchanging high ranking delegations in recent years, cooperation between the two navies have entered into a new phase.

Separately, in a tacit show of support for Qatar in its own ongoing diplomatic spat, the U.S. navy held a joint drill with Qatar in the Persian Gulf on Saturday. It said the scheduled exercise came before the departure of the Chinese fleet for Muscat, Oman.

While the signalling remains muddled, it appears that China is increasingly tipping its cards that it is alligned with the Iran-Syria-Russia axis, while the US appears to be hoping that by indicating military cooperation with Qatar, that the Saudi coalition will gradually allow things to return to the way they were.


Bernardo Gui Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:30 Permalink

The fastest way to convince Beijing to stop aiding and abetting rogue regimes is to have Japan start building nuclear weapon bs with the blessing of the US.

cherry picker Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:36 Permalink

When a military and state department are run by bought and paid for necons, what do you expect?The world is tired of this arrogant 'super power' and its endless wars, drone bombings, missile murders and MOABS.Any other nation would have been sanctioned for making and testing WMDs, tortuirng prisoners, etc, but the USA and its once formidble Fort Knox are losing ground to humanity.  Fort Knox is no more from what I have read, the gold is gone, the green back is going down and people are piling into crypto as there is no place left that is safe for people who like to save money. 

Laddie cherry picker Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:25 Permalink

Just consider US history against Iran, they overthrew the lawful head of Iran and placed the "Shah" on the throne.
They have done severe economic damage to Iran.

The USSA armed Saddam with poisonous weapons of mass destruction to destroy Iran.

The US blew an Iranian civilian airbus out of the sky killing all aboard, they have colluded with Israel in sabotaging Iran nuclear power plants and assassinating Iranian scientists.

There is EVIL in the world, and sadly the USSA & its bestest buddy Israel are the prime evildoers.

What did Iran ever do that compared to this?
An Expensive “Friend”

On June 8th, 1967 the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship on station in the eastern Mediterranean, was viciously strafed and bombed by four Israeli fighter jets, as well as, attacked by torpedo boats. Per our “greatest” ally in the Middle East (or, you would be told our greatest ally in general) the highly distinctive and practically defenseless vessel was “mistakenly” identified as an Egyptian horse-cavalry transport. The ship’s mission was to monitor the communications of Israel’s Arab enemies and their Soviet advisers during the Six-Day War, but not on Israeli communications. It didn’t matter though, after the Jews attacked the ship for two hours, including machine-gunning at close range the lowered lifeboats, 34 Americans were killed and 172 were wounded.

Per Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations from 1967 to 1970 and later Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970 to 1974, in a 2004 Stars and Stripes article, “U.S. military rescue aircraft were recalled—not once, but twice—through direct intervention by the Johnson administration. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s cancellation of the Navy’s attempt to rescue the Liberty, which I confirmed from the commanders of the aircraft carriers America and Saratoga, was the most disgraceful act I witnessed in my entire military career…Despite claims by Israeli intelligence that they confused the Liberty with a small Egyptian transport, the Liberty was conspicuously different from any vessel in the Egyptian navy. It was the most sophisticated intelligence ship in the world in 1967. With its massive radio antennae, including a large satellite dish, it looked like a large lobster and was one of the most easily identifiable ships afloat.” Some suspect that the Israelis wanted to sink the ship, kill the entire crew and blame the event on the Egyptians—which would trigger the US to join Israel in the Six-Day War. Sounds like a great friend, right?

Not Remembering the USS Liberty May 21, 2017
Remember the Liberty!

The USS Liberty 50 Years After Israel Terror

In reply to by cherry picker

Sirius Wonderblast Laddie Mon, 06/19/2017 - 08:45 Permalink

The Middle East was once a relatively untroublesome patch of sand. Nomads raomed, maybe had fueds, whatever. Then western powers got involved, and in particular never forget US strategy post WW2, in stuffing Britain via Bretton Woods and Suez, and in Iran. We can point fingers and consider where lines got drawn across huge empty expanses, but now it's time to congratulate Washington for completely ballsing up the whole damned region in the name of protecting the oil that is now gushing out of it's grasp. Oil that it relies uppon, now very possibly going to be controlled by the arhcitects of an alternative financial system and wholly separate power bloc. Oh, very well done, no thought of light touch or . Genius bunch of lightning rods.As regards Isreal, there is the small question of events in British Palestine. Cui bono?

In reply to by Laddie

Hugh G. Rection Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:39 Permalink

China will not be attacking anyone, people. That's what the USA does. China is just letting everyone know that they will support the rest of the world in resisting the tyranny of the US government.

Greed is King NoWayJose Sun, 06/18/2017 - 16:33 Permalink

Actually in Vietnam it was`nt the inability to tell the difference between fighter and civilian, it would be more accurate to say that for the most part the fighters were the civilians and the civilians were the fighters. The Vietnamese wanted and got their own country, not a country ruled by a corrupt American puppet regime.Since 2001 and the invasion of Afghanistan, every country that America has invaded, declared defeated and has occupied is still fighting; so you`re quite right about avoiding war in the first place, but that would`nt make the Establishment any money, peace is`nt good for business.

In reply to by NoWayJose

ogretown Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:49 Permalink

It is warming to see that China is not just supporting the Coalition of Courage with words but is now getting more into the action, albeit a limited naval war game scenario is closer to 'weak' than 'prudent'. Whether we agree on siding with the Government of Syria or not, the fact remains that Assad heads up a legitimate government.  And it is appalling that a rogue country (in this case, America) has troops within the borders of that sovereign nation.  Russia and Iran have been invited into Syria to rid the nation of ISIS and to help Syria also get rid of the ant-government Syrian rebel terrorists.  America has NOT been invited to participate.  Turkey is moving in the right direction and now *perhaps* China is doing the same thing.  Although there is no guarantee of peace in the ME, perhaps if the Coalition of Courage can oust the Coalition of Clowns from the region the dream of peace will move a few giant steps closer to reality.

IronForge Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:49 Permalink

I'm waiting for IND to join in on future Drills.Add in RUS, they'll make for a Trifecta. /sarcOTOH, that may convince those involved into a Stalemate and give rise to Peace Negotiations.Anathema to the MICs and the Hegemony; but it really makes sense...

Greed is King Ben A Drill Sun, 06/18/2017 - 16:11 Permalink

I don`t know if you can get it in America but, have a look for Adam Curtis`s film "HyperNormalisation".Two you can get in America, John Pilgers "the war on terror, truth and lies" and Oliver Stones "the untold history of the United States".Politicians are the puppets of the Establishment, and the Establishment wants money, and war is one of the biggest earners, they don`t care that the average Joe in every country on Earth just wants a peaceful life, that does`nt earn the Establishment money, war DOES.Believe nothing, trust nobody, question everything.

In reply to by Ben A Drill

Fake Trump Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:56 Permalink

China has finally drew a red line. Trump thought Xi was on his side when the met for the first time at Mar A Lago. The Art of The Deal disappoints. North Korea situation is now very clear and obvious. Trump will not and dare not strike North Korea preemptively which he has said he would. Just rhetoric bullshits. Trump is concerned. Where is Kushner?

Cordeezy (not verified) Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

Thankfully Hillary Clinton didn't win, we would be at war today with Qatar, Russia, Syria and China now.  They are trying to kick Trump out because he is not on a war agenda, but the powers that be know that a war is needed to mask an economic crisis that is going to come at some point in the future.  The crisis will be world wide, the USA is in better shape economically then the rest of the world, but when the crisis hits no country will be safe.  There are so many catalyst that can cause the crisis to begin with all the over leveraged debt out there.  Who knows what will happen this time, but I do think the USA will fare the best in this one.

Pasadena Phil Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:11 Permalink

See why US energy independence is so important? We should be celebrating at every report that US rig counts continue to rise. Let the EU choose between windmills and solar panels vs Chinese/OPEC oil. We can sure use the NATO money right here at home.