Russian Warships set Sail for Syria

Mark 13:8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Mr. Vyacheslav Trukhachev, spokesman for Russia’s Black Sea fleet, said one of Russia’s warships now on its way to Syria has 150 marines and 25 tanks. He declined to share any details about other ships, but did clarify that their mission is to evacuate Russian personnel from Syria if necessary.

Moscow and Washington issued a joint statement from the summit meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico giving support to Kofi Annan’s U.N. peace plan and called for the “Syrians themselves” to undertake a peaceful transition to democracy while retaining the country’s current boundaries. “We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future,” Putin and Obama agreed.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told Mr. Putin in Los Cabos that Iran should not be involved in the solution to the crises in Syria. “The key is to work on that bit of the Annan plan which could help to deliver political change at the top of Syria.”

Mr. Putin warned Cameron that the removal of the Syrian regime could lead to the rise of radical Islamic terrorist organizations taking control and drew comparisons with what happened in Somalia. Cameron replied that backing authoritarian dictatorships is not the answer.

Meanwhile new fighting continues to break out across Syria. 56 people were killed yesterday and the activists claim that government forces are pounding opposition strongholds. “We are under siege,” said one activist in Homs. Some neighborhoods have been cut off during 10 days of intense bombing. “We have not enough medical equipment and medical crew, most are volunteers,” the activist says. “We have a lot of wounded people and we don’t know what to do with them.”

Heavy violence has also been reported in Damascus and Syria’s relationship with Russia has come under scrutiny. The Assad regime has become dependent on Moscow, partly because of the European and U.S. sanctions.

The Russian Naval base at the Port of Tartous, Syria has a working staff of 50 Russians. There are also Russian technicians working under contract to maintain the arms purchased by Assad’s regime.

Russia’s foreign minister denies that Russia is selling arms to Syria which can be used against civilians. Last year however, Russia sold anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and missile batteries designed to fend off seaborne attacks. Russia has also signed a contract to supply 36 Yak-130 trainer aircraft for $550m and has agreed to supply Syria with 24 MiG-29 advanced fighter bombers. Refurbished helicopters are also on their way to Syria from the Russian port of Kaliningrad, although Russia’s defense minister declined to comment.


Leave a Reply