It is no coincidence that right after Israel, followed by British claims ,then U.S. officials started to blame Syrian officials over the rebels chemical attack, to put pressure on Assad because their plans are being disappointed by President Assad’s planning and implementation of these plans by he armed forces of Syria, That Russia deploys a massive naval presence in the mediterranean to re-enforce forces already there.
On the phony American announcement of Chemical weapons use in Syria and the inferrence of US/Western forces readying to impose a no fly-zone over Syria ,and direct military intervention, Russian officials openly warned the West against such measures.
To be heard clearly Russia deployed naval assets, who by the way have several contingents of special forces & marines on standby, right off the Syrian coast ready for combat. This being known to American planners, may have been the reason for President Obama’s walk back from openly calling for US military intervention.
This brings us to his saying…” In the Near East, there stand navies which are neither American nor British…they are there to drive America out. The skies over there are beginning to thicken with foreign planes, carrying deadly weapons, guns and bombs. They will not be satisfied as long as Israel is in Palestine. The boil has come to a bursting point. We are in a troubled world. We are in a world that is now erupting.”–pg.172(tfoa)
A joint group of ten warships and auxiliary ships of the Baltic, North and Black Sea fleets is now in the Mediterranean Sea. The Black Sea Fleet ships are the most active, having sailed to the Mediterranean Sea 17 times last year.
The Mediterranean Sea has historically been a zone of Russia’s interest. The Russian flag appeared there during Queen Catherine II’s rule and since then, Russian presence in the Mediterranean Sea has been an important factor in world politics. The Russian presence was periodically suspended by crises in Russia when uprisings or military defeats in the country prompted the Russian fleet to leave the region. At present, a relative growth of the Russian economy compared to the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the realization of the need to pursue an active foreign policy have prompted the return to the Mediterranean Sea of the Russian fleet.
There are several tasks before the fleets. The first task is linked to training. As a result of recession in military activity after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the armed forces and especially the fleet have lost several important skills, such as the organization of activities of the fleet in remote seas and oceans. Frequent voyages to seas will help it to improve the training of crews and command staff at all levels. This is crucial when taking into account that a sea battle might last less than an hour, but it takes decades to train sailors for this.
The second important task is the political aspect. The presence of Russia in the Mediterranean Sea renders practical support to Syria’s legitimate authorities who have been fighting against terrorists. Regular visits to Syrian ports by Russian ships practically exclude foreign aggression against the country. Apart from other factors, this will help the Bashar Assad regime to continue its fight against militants who are supported by foreign countries.
In the next five years, the Russian group might significantly grow in number and quality. In 2014, the Black Sea Fleet will get the first advanced warships and submarines, while in 2017-2018 new groups will be formed with new warships.
Another important aspect is the organization of inter-fleet cooperation. The position of the Black Sea Fleet is unique because its operational zone covers the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. It interacts with Russia’s other fleets, the Baltic, North and Pacific fleets. The growing political and military activity in Asia makes the Black Sea Fleet together with the Pacific Fleet one of the important political tools of the Russian government. Its significance will grow in the future.