Russian warship flotilla now off Syrian coast

2016-11-12 16:16
The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov passing the Norwegian island of Andoya in international waters on its way to the Mediterranean. (STR, forsvaret via AFP)

The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov passing the Norwegian island of Andoya in international waters on its way to the Mediterranean. (STR, forsvaret via AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - A flotilla of Russian warships is now in the eastern Mediterranean off the Syrian coast after being sent to reinforce Russia's military in the area, a naval commander said on state television.

The commander of Russia's flagship Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier Sergei Artamonov said via videolink that the ships are now in the "designated zone... in the eastern Mediterranean" and "are now jointly carrying out tasks, manoeuvering to the west of the Syrian coast".

The battle group has travelled to Syria from the North Sea through the English Channel in the biggest such naval deployment in recent years as part of Russia's military intervention in Syria.

Russia has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria for the past year in support of President Bashar Assad and has deployed a naval contingent to back up its operation.

The naval task force has been monitored closely by NATO, whose chief Jens Stoltenberg voiced concern the ships would be used to support the Russian military operation in Syria and "increase human and civilian suffering."

The ship's commander was speaking to a presenter on Russia-1 television from inside the defence ministry for a news show that will air this evening in Moscow.

He confirmed that aircraft are already taking off from the ship's deck to view the conflict zone.

"Flights are being carried out from the deck... they are working on co-ordination with the shore port," he said.

"The flights have been going on practically every day for the last four days," he added.

Russia's Interfax news agency on Friday had cited a Russian military and diplomatic source as saying that Russian MiG and Sukhoi jets have been regularly flying into Syrian airspace from the Kuznetsov to "determine combat missions."

The Russian television channel also spoke to the commander of the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered battle cruiser, which is part of the same flotilla.

Asked whether foreign aircraft were flying over the ships, the commander, Vladislav Malakhovsky, said "they are afraid to come closer than 50km away, realising very well how powerful the nuclear cruiser is."

Read more on:    nato  |  bashar assad  |  russia  |  syria

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.