The head of the Defense Committee of Russia’s State Duma, Vladimir Komoyedov, said that Russia is ready to use its naval forces to establish a blockade along the Syrian coastline to facilitate the delivery of armaments into Syrian territory.
‘Regarding the large-scale use of the Black Sea Fleet in this operation, I don’t think it will happen, but in terms of a coastal blockade, I think that it’s quite possible,’ He also added ‘The delivery of artillery strikes hasn’t been excluded; the ships are ready for this, but there is no point in it for now. The terrorists are in deep, where the artillery cannot reach.’
Russian’s naval facility in the western Syrian province of Tartus provides Moscow with access to the Mediterranean Sea. Four Russian warships, including a missile cruiser and a destroyer, are currently deployed in Eastern Mediterranean.
There is still some misunderstanding what exactly Komoyedov said. He also quoted saying that part of the Russian navy was surely going to join Syria in order to help them fight against terrorists. However, later Reuters reported his announcement that Russia doesn’t have any intentions to take either side on the Syrian conflict.
Another thing that it is not clear is whether Russia will extend its airstrikes in Iraq. On Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported that Valentina Matviyenko, the head of Russia’s upper chamber parliament, as saying that the country will probably extend the strikes in Iraq if asked to do so by Bagdhad. However, later Matviyenko said that they have not received suck request by Iraq so far. The Iraqi Prime Minister stated that the country will be happy to have any help from Russia fighting terrorist groups.
There has been a lot of criticism lately towards Russia on the airstrikes in Syria, stating that Russia’s action could lead to ‘’extreme radicalism’’. However, there are opinions on the Russian side of this debate. These opinions mainly focus on the fact that Russia’s help in Syria has been conducted after Syria asked for it and it is completely legal according to the international law to do what Russia did after Syria had asked for it. In the situation the US has been criticized that it doesn’t have the right to judge when they do the same with their partners in the Middle East.
Yoana for SouthFront