Breaking News: Russian troops land in Syria

Russian naval base in Tartus, SyriaBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| |
The Russian service of the BBC has confirmed that a contingent of Russian “antiterrorist special forces” have landed in Syria. The news first appeared on Monday on the websites of several Russian news agencies, including Interfax and RIA Novosti. The latter claimed that the Russian troops, who were said to be Marines, arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus onboard the tanker Iman, which is part of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. According to the report, the tanker is strictly tasked with performing “logistical tasks [including] the replenishment of fuel and food [and] providing maritime anti-piracy security in the Gulf of Aden”. According to a statement from the Russian Black Sea Command, the special forces had landed in Syria in order to “demonstrate the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possibly evacuate Russian citizens”. Shortly after the initial reports of the troops’ landing in Tartus, ABC News spoke to an anonymous source at the United Nations Security Council, who described the news as “a bomb” that was “certain to have serious repercussions” on the situation in Syria. Soon afterwards, however, an unnamed source in the Syrian Ministry of National Defense told the SANA news agency in Damascus that the reports of Russian troops landing in Syria were “completely devoid of truth” and said the presence of the Russian tanker was connected with an anti-piracy mission. The Russian Ministry of Defense also told reporters that the Iman is not a warship and that its crew is composed entirely of civilian personnel. But a separate report on the Russian-language service of the BBC claims that, although the vessel is indeed hydrographic —designed to collect undersea topographic data— it contains sophisticated dual-use hardware that can easily be used for intelligence collection. The BBC report repeats earlier claims by the Interfax news agency that the Russian ship arrived in Tartus with a large contingent of marine brigade and airborne assault battalion members. It also quotes sources from the Syrian opposition, which allege that Russian troops were indeed seen disembarking in Taurus. Russia, which has maintained a naval logistics support base Tartus since 1971, is one of the Syrian government’s most vocal allies. Along with China, it has resisted attempts by Western countries to impose sanctions on the government in Damascus in response to its crackdown on opposition protesters. ABC News, which is one of a handful of Western news media to have picked up the story, says it contacted officials in Russia’s embassy to the United States and the United Nations, who refused to comment. It also contacted US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who said Washington had “not heard of the reports of Russian troops in Syria” and declined to comment.

12 Responses to Breaking News: Russian troops land in Syria

  1. tima80 says:

    I can’t understand the astonishment of news of Russian troops on Syrian grounds . US has a military base in almost every Arab state and hundred of thousand of American marines are deployed in and out from these states on constant basis . Moreover , the king of saudi arabia and hamad of qatar both have publicly gave statements they are funding arm sale and training and deploying terrorist to Syria . Yet no eye brow seen lifted .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, I guess we’re one step closer to WWIII.

  3. intelNews says:

    @tima80: Thanks for posting. The article was not meant to convey astonishment, approval or criticism. I think that, regardless of one’s personal stance on the issue, it is difficult to deny that the news of Russian troops arriving in Syria changes the balance of power in the country –and perhaps the region. And it is a good indicator of the extent to which Moscow intends to make its presence felt in Syria. [JF]

  4. Peter Wallerberger says:

    The balance of power regarding the stationing of Russian troops in Syria is not a recent
    development. It has in fact been in effect since approx’ 1991.

    Part of the port of Tartus is already a Russian Naval Suport base and has been under constant
    upgrade since 2009 included in which was provision for the port to accommodate both Russian
    guided missile carriers and ships as large as ‘Peter the Great’ – the latter; if even stationary ,in
    such a port as Tartus would not just alter the balance of power in Syria but in fact the whole of
    the middle east !!

    The Tartus support base is already staffed by Russian Naval personel as well as other specialists
    – albiet in some cases covered under the vague description of “anti – piracy” duties !!

    Of more interest would be “How long the Russian Naval vessel Iman is in the port of Tartus for”
    and what personel &/or cargo it departs with not to mention it’s destination !!

  5. mr.F says:

    This is a very good news. Some syrians soldiers are refusing to attack the insurgent populations. The Russian soldiers will not hesitating to destroy the rebellious cities.

  6. antiglobb says:

    At last Russia has realized that dealing with USA and Europe means just losing time.
    It had to react beforehand. However it’s better late than never.
    Russia and China have to destroy USA before the west criminals destroy it.

  7. AlbertE. says:

    This is Black Death. Russian and before them Soviet Marines called Black Death. Name given to them by the German from WW2. Fighting ferocity of these guys is legendary. Wore all black uniforms [now only the black beret] and are supposed to have the capacity of three times their worth in conventional army troops. One regiment of Black Death worth a division of conventional ground forces.

  8. khan says:

    lets russia and china play their role in stabilizing international peace and security
    the americans have twisted the world balance of power in many angles and this must be stopped as they have gone far with the help of puppets

    now it is a time to rise against such conspiracy and we need china and russia rise and use their veto and muscle power to show the americans that america itself not a god father of this globe
    let people and nations theeir own life free from conspiracy, dominance and poiclitical wrestling

    we need peace not violence the jewish is the real actor of what is happening in world from conomic disaster to political and financial distabilition etc.

    american should stop supporting the zionist and proectect them from self destruction

    th very existence of jewish state is illegal they sppress the rghts of palestine they caputred their territory and tortured and killed the men women and children they denied excess to thier rights to pass throgh land air and sea what is this why american doest not cry humanitarian crimes did by Israel

    i hate france because this puppet is supporting violence in islamic countries and create a very vlgar situaton i beleive that france and britain are the two cruels who instigate american to harm inocent countreis because they are masters of america

  9. khan says:

    no outside power should interfere in any country internal affairs
    niether american nor russian
    these super powers isntead monitoring peace and security they become party of violence and crimes at least russians and chinese role at this time justified if they purpose are to safegaurd the security and peace of nations not beyond this is acceptable

    i hope the current crises in syria wll be peacefully resolved and also the advise both goverment and opposition to sit together to find solution in eliminating violence from the land of syria

    syrian people are cvilized and they are united and understand well and hope that they would oneday the settle their differences to avoid losing innocent lives

    we are muslim brothesr should stop such killings and plotting each other both government forces and opposition recndiser their stance and reach to common stand for the sake of innocent people

    inshallah and I pray allah almighty for bestow immdiate relief to my syrian brothers and sisters from violence and destruction

    i appeal all my muslims bortherly countries to forget all thier differences and restore pace and security of our syrian muslims brothers and sisters

    May Allah Almighty help them to be in peace and security inshalla

  10. Carl Clark says:

    I hope that the Russians can intercept communications, between CIA, MI6 and rebel forces, what we saw in Afghanistan were crates of money coming in at the start to buy off warlords and armed groups, that went very well as we see from Afghanistan today!!.
    The same is happening with covert agents from western organisations and also aid agencies, plying locals with pots of cash for their armed support, we are actively paying for civil disobediance and war in Syria, where do the west draw the line? they dont, they never do, but if anyone else does the same we are down on them like a ton of bricks, the west has carte blanche to cause war and strife wherever it see’s fit, investing in war is what one General called it.

  11. The Port of Tartus has been used by the Soviets/Russian since the 1970s, very actively in the 1980s especially after Israel waxed the Syrian Air Force in 1982. Just looking after their long term interests. You know, the drug dealer (Putin) keeping his customers (Syria – Assad) supplied (guns/missiles/vehicles/personnel). Putin turning his back on the use of a warm water port? Never. Similar to how we are in Kyrgyzstan, using Manas Air Base while the Russian have a base just 25 miles away. Not something we want to give up easily as it is a tanker base for our troops in Afghanistan. It is starting to sound like the Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Club will be coming back online sometime in the near future since there will be a need for a maritime quarantine as well as no-fly zones.

  12. Peter Wallerberger says:

    President Putin may be many things Steven – but certainly not a “drug Dealer” !!
    (Who told you that – the Bakers County Sherrifs Office ??!!)

    You are correct in suggesting the Russians will not willingly relinguish the warm water Port
    of Tartus – lest – not without a fight.

    Regards Manus Base – the U.S will not be needing it in the very near future.

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