– Russia Sends Warships To Gaza Coast (ZeroHedge, Nov 24, 2012):
For the entire 8 day duration of Operation Pillar of Defense, there was one major geopolitical player who had been largely quiet and certainly absent from the scene: the same player whose unflinching position over the Syria conflict has so far prevented any intervention in the civil war torn country: Russia. The same Russia which has a military base in the Syrian port city of Tarsus, and thus in its own eyes, a very substantial “national interest” role to play in the middle east, one that is certainly opposing that of the US and the pro-NATO forces, a tension that will surely boil to the surface now that war between Iran and Israel is always at most “hours away” depending on who is asked, and which one day will be more than just a war of words. Today, Russia decided that it had kept quiet for too long over the Gaza conflict, with Voice of Russia reporting, courtesy of Al Arabiya, that Russian warships anchored off the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea will be put on military alertness should the conflict in Gaza escalate and brought in proximity, according Russian Navy Command source on Friday.
Sure enough, there is a diplomatic reason for the escalation: evacuation preparedness. To wit: “The detachment of combat ships of the Black Sea Fleet, including the Guards missile cruiser Moskva, the patrol ship Smetliviy, large landing ships Novocherkassk and Saratov, the sea tug MB-304 and the big sea tanker Ivan Bubnov, got the order to remain in the designated area of the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens from the area of the Gaza strip in case of escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”, the spokesperson said. He added that ship crew members will continue routine combat training, maintenance of equipment and weapons along with other military services.
A missile cruiser, which just happens to be the flag ship of the Russian Black Sea naval fleet, and whose purpose is “to destroy hostile surface ships” in order to aid evacuation? Odd…
Naturally, only very naive people would buy this “explanation”, which does nothing to mitigate the factor that Russia, too, is now implicitly involved in the Gaza conflict. How soon until China sends a few of its own warships to the region. Just in case China nationals needs evaluation too.
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