Russia Adds Two More Warships To Mediterranean Task Force Near Syria

A few days when reporting that the Russian Pacific fleet had crossed the Suez canal for the first time in decades in order to form a Mediterranean task force parked in Cyprus for obvious symbolic reasons (in close proximity to Syria and the Israel-parked Kearsarge), some observed that while the submarine support was adequate, the actual warship fleet designated to support any potential escalation in Syria would be largely insufficient. Perhaps the Russian Navy heard these complaints, and several hours ago RIA reported that two extra warships from the Russian Black Sea fleet had joined the Mediterranean task force, citing Capt. First Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachyov, has said. None of these recent deployment should come as a surprise: in March Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean was needed to defend Russia’s interests in the region. Read Syria, Cyrpus (where the task force will be on anchor indefinitely), and, of course, any and all western offensive involving Iran. And slowly but surely said task force is nearing completion.

“During a planned rotation, large landing ships Nikolai Filchenkov and Azov from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet have started performing their tasks in the Mediterranean,” Trukhachyov said.

The two ships in question:

the Azov

and the Filchenkov

 

 

The two ships will be added to a fleet that is becoming increasingly imposing in both numbers and capability: the task force currently includes vessels from the Pacific, Northern, Baltic and Black Sea fleets: the Admiral Panteleyev and Severomorsk destroyers, the Yaroslav Mudry frigate, the Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi amphibious warfare ships, the Fotiy Krylov, Altai and SB-921 salvage/rescue tugs, the PM-138 repair ship, the Pechenga, Lena and Dubna tankers. The task force may be enlarged to include nuclear submarines.

Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, head of the parliamentary defense committee, previously told RIA Novosti that the Mediterranean task force should be comprised of 10 warships and support vessels as part of several tactical groups tasked with attack, antisubmarine warfare and minesweeping.

In other words, check to you America, we are ready.

And speaking of checking, just a month earlier it was the US that was deploying its own naval support in the area with the LHD-3 Kearsarge crossing the Suez canal, and now on anchor in Israel. Here is a 60 second timelapse video of what it looks like when a US naval ship cross the Suez Canal, direction escalation.

Source: Zero Hedge

Russia: UN Text on Syria Doesn’t Suit Us, Vote a “Scandal”

Russia said Saturday that the Western-backed text of a UN Security Council resolution on Syria did not suit Moscow at all and warned of a “scandal” if that draft was brought to a vote, AFP cited the Russian television.

“If they (the West) want yet another scandal on the Security Council for themselves then we cannot stop them” putting the draft to a vote, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The draft does not suit us at all and I hope that it is not put to a vote,” he added.

The UN Security Council will meet later Saturday to vote on the resolution condemning the so-called “violence” in Syria.

Lavrov gave the interview to Russian state television at a Moscow airport early Saturday before heading to the Munich Security Conference where he plans to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He said that the changes Russia wanted to make to the resolution were “well known” and that he had already sent them to Clinton. “There can be no doubt about the sense and the objectivity of these amendments. I hope that a prejudiced approach does not prevail over common sense,” he added.

Source: Al Manar