Thursday, October 8, 2015
Russia has ground troop battalion,"considerable and growing" naval presence, advanced tanks in Syria: U.S. NATO envoy.
Russia has ground troop battalion,"considerable and growing" naval presence, advanced tanks in Syria: U.S. NATO envoy. (Reuters).
Russia's military build-up in Syria includes a "considerable and growing" naval presence, long-range rockets and a battalion of ground troops backed by Moscow's most modern tanks, the U.S. ambassador to NATO said on Wednesday.
Speaking on the eve of a NATO defense ministers meeting to be dominated by Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute said Moscow had managed a "quite impressive" military deployment over the past week to its Syria naval base in Tartous and its army base in Latakia.
"There is a considerable and growing Russia naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean, more than 10 ships now, which is a bit out of the ordinary," he told a news briefing.
"The recent Russian reinforcements over the last week or so feature a battalion-size ground force ... There is artillery, there are long-range rocket capabilities, there are air defense capabilities," Lute said. A battalion is typically around 1,000 soldiers.
"(It is) all arms, combined arms, attack aircraft, it is the attack helicopters and artillery, rocket artillery." Russia's ground forces in Syria include some of its most advanced tanks, Lute said. Hmmm......Great way to test your military hardware for real. Wouldn't surprise me to see an Iranian assault as well. Read the full story here.