We observed previously after John Bolton's threat late this week of "greater military force" should chemical weapons allegations emerge against Damascus, that a familiar pattern has long been in play on Syria: just when it appears the jihadists are on the brink of final defeat, and as stability is returning after seven years of grinding war, something happens to bring things right back to the brink of global crisis and escalation.
Russia has built up its forces around the Mediterranean Sea in response to reports that the U.S., France, and Great Britain could be preparing to attack Syria after US National Security Advisor John Bolton informed Russia that America is prepared to respond with greater military force than it has used against Assad’s regime in the past, according to Bloomberg.
According to Yoruk Isik of the Bosphorus Observer, the Russian Navy has sent another armada of ships towards Syria’s territorial waters in order to increase the strength of their forces around the country.
Isik said that the powerful Russian warships, Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen class frigate, were spotted transiting the Bosphorus Strait en route to the Port of Tartous.
This latest move by the Russian Navy comes just 24 hours after they sent three ships en route to the Port of Tartous in western Syria.
New & powerful: Armed with Kalibr SS-N-27 missiles, #ВМФ #ЧФ second Admiral Grigorovich class frigate AdmIral Essen redeployed to Mediterranean after 58 days & transits Bosphorus en route to #Tartus #Syria pic.twitter.com/lnflQbZJzx— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 25, 2018
The Turkish coast guard monitored the frigates as they passed through the Bosporus toward the Mediterranean, reportedly en route to Russia's only major deep-water port in the region along the Syrian coast.
Redeployed to Mediterranean after 86 days & armed with Kalibr SS-N-27 missiles, Admiral Grigorovich class frigate #ВМФ #ЧФ Admiral Grigorovich departed BlackSea 03:00Z and transited Bosphorus towards Mediterranean. Turkish CoastGuard TCSG15 monitored the frigates. pic.twitter.com/oCd8rYsuPn— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 25, 2018
With the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) preparing to launch a large-scale offensive in northwest Syria, Russia fears that the jihadist rebels may fake a chemical weapons attack in order to get the U.S. and its allies to attack the government.
Ships are also being deployed as Syrian and Russian forces prepare for what's expected to be the final push to liberate all of Idlib province, which Russian forces are expected to play a central role in executing.
Heavy: Supply & reinforcement for Russia’s final push in the #Syria campaign: #ВМФ Project 1171 #ЧФ BlackSea Fleet Tapir (NATO:Alligator) class LST Orsk 148 transits Bosphorus towards Mediterranean en route to #Tartus for its 7th #Syria campaign deployment in 2018. pic.twitter.com/2Z25rs0rfG— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 24, 2018
Currently, the following Russian military vessels are stationed in the Mediterranean near the Syrian coast according to Naval military observers:
- CG Marshal Ustinov
- DDG Severomorsk
- DDG Yaroslav Mudryy
- FFG Admiral Grigorovich
- FFG Admiral Essen
- FFL Pytlivyy
- FSG Vyshniy Volochek
- FSG Grad Sviyazhsk
- FSG Velikiy Ustyug
- LST Orsk
- LST Nikolay Fil'chenkov
- MS Turbinist
- MS Valentin Pikul
- SS Kolpino
- SS Velikiy Novgorod
Those listed are featured in the following:
Meanwhile, in reference to reports that Washington could be preparing another round of attacks, the Russian MoD pointed out on Saturday that "the US Navy’s destroyer Sullivans with 56 cruise missiles on its board arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago while a B-1B strategic bomber of the US Air Force armed with AGM-158 JASSM air-to-surface missiles was redeployed to the Al Udeid air base in Qatar," according to TASS.