The Russian amphibious landing ship Nikolai Filchenov of the Black Sea Fleet will be leaving Novorossiyisk to be deployed off the coast of Syria, report Russian and Syrian media, quoting Russian military sources.
The ship will join the escort ship Smetlivy during its passage through the Bosporus from where both will set course to the Eastern Mediterranean. The deployment comes as the US and Turkish brinksmanship about a possible military attack on Syria continues, and Russia´s President Vladimir Putin has called the people of the USA to caution in a NYT article.
The deployment of the Russian landing ship Nikolai Filchenov from Novorossiyisk to the Eastern Mediterranean is the latest step in the military buildup of US and Russian military ships off the coast of Syria.
The announcement about the deployment of the Russian vessel comes, as the USA continues the diplomatic and military brinkmanship by not clearly and unequivocally stating that the USA will adhere to international law and refrain from any military strike without the concurrent vote of all permanent UN Security Council members.
In an unprecedented move, Russia´s President Vladimir Putin has addressed the people of the United States directly, in a New York Times article.
The Russian President warned the people of the USA to caution and stressed, that violations of international law and unilateral military action risks forcing other nations to also stop adhering to international law.
Putin warned of the consequences of unilateral US and allied military action for the region, the destabilization of the Middle East and the spread of terrorism.
Putin also warned against the risk of the proliferation of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
Putin said, that the threat of military force against sovereign nations can motivate them to acquire weapons of mass destruction as the only means of protecting themselves from illegal aggression.
The one who has the bomb is left alone, Putin said, warning that this is setting a dangerous example and that such policy would risk spreading, rather than limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The deployment of the Russian landing vessel to the Syrian coast also comes, as the Turkish military continues massing troops, military equipment and weaponry along the 900 km-long Turkish – Syrian border. Turkey has especially deployed additional troops and weaponry to southern border districts, near the Mediterranean, including Suruc in the southern Sanhurfa district.
The Turkish newspaper Hürriet reported that Turkish fighter jets have conducted patrols along the Syrian border due to increased activity. The Reuters news agency reported, that Turkey has established ultra short range air defenses, using Stinger missiles on a hilltop of the Syrian border town of Yayladagi, in the Hatay province. Reuters reported, that the defense system´s radar was in active mode.
Reinforcements from the military command of Turkey´s southern Gaziantep province in Kilis were deployed as well as additional forces, including convoys of military units, weapons and vehicles.
Hürriet also reported, that armed forces have begun establishing a new base on Kel Mountain, close to the Syrian coastal city of Lattakia. Military equipment, which was transported from the Yayladagi districts was also transported to and assembled on Kel Mountain.
US President Obama has stated, that he will delay asking the US Congress for authorization of military strikes, but maintains a threatening posture, implying that the USA is ready to strike at any time.
The Russian State Dume (Parliament) has called on the US Congress not to approve of an aggression against Syria and welcomed the initiative to put Syria´s chemical weapons under international supervision.
At the close of the G20 Summit, Russia´s President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia will increase its aid to Syria in the case of an illegal military aggression, saying:
“We will help Syria. We are helping them now. We supply weapons, we cooperate in the economic sphere, and I hope we will cooperate more in the humanitarian sphere .. to provide help for those people – civilians – who are in a difficult situation today”.
Russia stresses, that the Russian help to Syria, including the delivery of military equipment and weapon systems is legitimate and in fulfillment of contracts signed previous to the onset of the Syria crisis in 2011. At the close of the G20, Putin also stressed the illegitimacy, of some countries support of the insurgents, including internationally outlawed terrorist organizations with advanced weapons.
Alexander Denisov, the director general of Vysokotochny High-Precision Complex Holding stressed within this context, that the export of the Pantsir-S1 missile battery systems to Syria is ongoing as per existing contracts, signed with the Syrian government.
Denisov said that he would neither discuss nor refute any numbers because of confidentiality clauses, and that all he can say is that the exports are ongoing as per previously signed agreements.
With the Obama administration stating that it will maintain the aggressive military posture against Syria, including the deployment of cruise missile carrying destroyers within striking range, – with Turkey continuing a military buildup at the southern border sector, indicative of preparations for an invasion, – with the flow of foreign-backed insurgents to Syria and their support by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, USA, EU not ebbing off, – and with Russia and Iran determined to respond to an illegal military strike, the risk of a dangerous escalation continues growing.
In the NYT article, Putin warned that nations, taking the law into their own hand and bypassing the UN Security Council, increase the risk that the United Nations would suffer the same fate as the League of Nations. The analogy is striking, as the League of Nations failed at preventing a world war.