Russia appears to move warships away from Syrian danger zone

Although it warned the US that it would hit back if Western allies attack Syria, Russia appears to be protecting its fleet.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Satellite images published Wednesday show that almost the entire fleet of Russian warships based in the Syrian naval base of Tartus has gone to sea. The photos were posted on Twitter by ImageSat International, an Israeli company which focuses on high-resolution satellite imagery.

There are various possibilities why the eleven ships, including two submarines, have left port, of course. They could be going on maneuvers, assuming defensive positions that can intercept missiles as American destroyers are edging closer to the Syrian coast, or deserting their Middle Eastern ally by moving out of the way of a possible Western strike.

President Donald Trump has vowed to retaliate for a deadly chemical attack the Syrian regime allegedly carried out on Saturday against the rebel-held enclave of Douma. The US Navy has already sent two destroyers to the area that were close by, and announced Wednesday that an entire strike group of several destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser are being deployed to the Mediterranean.

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Other Western leaders have joined the US president in promising a forceful response, and Great Britain has already reportedly moved some submarines to within missile range of Syria. French Prime Minster Emmanuel Macron has not gone quite so far, only saying that his country was ready to attack Assad’s “chemical capabilities.”