US pulls war fleet from Syrian water. Ahmadinejad cancels Turkey visit
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2012, 10:33 PM (GMT+02:00)
Patriot missile destined for Turkey
Shortly before the deployment of two American Patriot missiles manned by 400 US servicemen for defending Turkey against Syria was announced Thursday, Dec. 13, Washington quietly recalled from Syrian waters the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its strike group and the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready group and the 2,000 Marines on their decks.
This US fleet, now on its way to home base, stayed opposite the Syrian coast from the third week of November ready to take part in direct US intervention in the Syrian conflict.
Russian warships sail for Syria, large anti-submarine ship for waters near Iran
DEBKAfile Special Report December 18, 2012, 7:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Russian Northern Fleet
Russian warships set out Tuesday, Dec. 18, for two Middle East flashpoint destinations: Naval sources in Moscow reported that two assault ships, a tanker and an escort vessel were detached from the Baltic Fleet and are sailing for the Syrian port of Tartus – possibly to evacuate Russian citizens. A second naval group led by Russia’s largest anti-submarine vessel, the Severomorsk, is on its way to the Gulfs of Aden and Oman close to the Persian Gulf and Iran.
The ships destined for Syria are the Russian fleet’s two largest amphibious assault vessels, the Kaliningrad and the Alexander Shabalin, which is a cruiser converted to a guided missile frigate renamed Yaroslav the Wise, the SB-921 rescue and tug ship, and the Lena military tanker.
Russian forces take Syrian chemical, biological weapons under control
DEBKAfile Special Report December 22, 2012, 2:48 PM (GMT+02:00)
warfare threat looming over Syria’s civil war and its neighbors has taken an epic turn with the announcement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday, Dec. 22, that “the Syrian government has “consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught and they are under control for the time being.”
He added that Russia, “which has military advisers training Syria’s military, has kept close watch over its chemical arsenal.”
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report: The Russian foreign minister’s statement was a message to Washington that the transfer of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction to one or two protected sites was under Russian control. This had removed the danger of them falling into the hands of the al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra ,which had come ominously close Friday, Dec. 21, when the Islamists spearheaded a Syrian rebel assault for the capture of the al-Safira military complex and Bashar Assad’s chemical and biological stores.
Nice chain of events
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