ESCALATING TENSIONS: US and Russia DOUBLE-DOWN on warships in Mediterranean
Russia, the US and other powers have positioned a growing contingent of warships in the eastern Mediterranean.
Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told German Business news:
“The assets of the 6th US fleet are well positioned to respond to a variety of critical missions in the eastern Mediterranean. We do so in accordance with international law and practice to maintain naval presence across the seas, avert aggression, and promote regional peace and stability. However, the Russian navy has constantly built up a large contingent of warships near Syria, with more than a dozen ships, many of which are equipped with KALIBR missiles. The Russians claimed that this was a military exercise they had declared completed. So the question remains Why is the presence of the Russian navy still increasing in the region? Is there another reason? The United States and its allies are deeply concerned about the terrible humanitarian crisis that would ensue if the Syrian regime, with Russian support, launched an attack on the densely populated Idlib province. The Assad regime and its operational supporter, Russia, are fully responsible for the humanitarian consequences of an Idlib offensive. “
The USS Mount Whitney , the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet, sailed for Thessaloniki in Greece.
Furthermore, the USS Carney is currently located in the eastern Mediterranean. She patrols with the “Chevalier Paul”. This is announced by the US Naval Forces Europe via Twitter .
The USS Porter and the USS Donald Cook are both located at the port of Larnaca.
More than 25 Russian war and relief vessels and about 30 aircraft, including fighter planes and strategic bombers, participated in a maneuver in the eastern Mediterranean between 1 and 8 September.
A spokesman for the French Ministry of Defense told the German business news: “As part of the armies and navy’s knowledge and anticipation function, a frigate is deployed almost permanently in the eastern Mediterranean. The air defense frigate ‘Chevalier Paul’ is currently patrolling the eastern Mediterranean so that France can autonomously assess the situation in the region. “
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu comments: “The Russian Navy has sent substantial naval forces to the Mediterranean, including several ships equipped with modern cruise missiles. Many NATO allies are bordering the Mediterranean, and our navies are constantly operating there. That’s why we monitor the marine activities in the region, including the Russian ones. We will not speculate on the intentions of the Russian fleet, but it is important that all actors in the region exercise restraint and not exacerbate the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria. NATO is not present in Syria, but we support the efforts of the United Nations to achieve a lasting political solution to the conflict. “
A spokesman for the German Navy explains: “A task force of SNMG2 is deployed in the Aegean Sea between the Turkish and Greek mainland. It is under the leadership of a German naval staff officer aboard the Einsatzgruppeversorger, Frankfurt am Main ‘and consists of four to seven ships, whereby the composition can change on a daily basis. The ships operate both on the high seas and since 7 March 2016 in the territorial waters of both states. The German Navy participates in the SNMG2 with a frigate or a Einsatzgruppen provider and between February 2016 and June 2017 also continuously a flag officer as commander of the SNMG2 and staff on its staff. “
British nuclear-powered submarine HMS Talent entered the Mediterranean in early September and joined three other nuclear submarines and three US destroyers, reports Yeni Şafak newspaper . In addition, the HMS Duncan is located in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Turkish analyst Mesut Hakkı Caşın argues in an interview with the Hürriyet that the accumulation of international warships in the eastern Mediterranean in reality has to do exclusively with shaping the future energy policy in the eastern Mediterranean.
According to Admiral aD Cem Gürdeniz, there are 24 Turkish frigates and corvettes, 19 speedboats and 12 submarines in the eastern Mediterranean .
The presence of European vessels in the region is perceived as a threat by Turkey . The pro -government newspaper Star argues that under cover of security policy, such as PESCO, the EU is sending ships to the eastern Mediterranean to influence its production of natural gas. “The Western states, whose national navies individually can not do anything against the Turkish Navy, this time come collectively to the eastern Mediterranean,” the paper said.