Russia has launched its largest military deployment since the Cold War, NATO officials have confirmed that the Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov has sailed past Norway and appears to be heading in the direction of Syria.
Russian warships off the coast of Norway are carrying fighter bombers that will likely reinforce a final assault on the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo in two weeks, a senior NATO diplomat said on Wednesday citing Western intelligence.
“They are deploying all of the Northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
“This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia’s strategy to declare victory there,” the diplomat said.
This is an alarming piece of news which gets to support what we have been warning you about.
NATO sources believe that they are carrying fighter bombs likely to bolster the attack on besieged Aleppo, in a fresh offensive that could turn the tide for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in his battle against rebel forces in the city.
This naval group which included the carrier and its escort of seven other Russian ships, is the most powerful Russian naval task force to sail in northern Europe since 2014, Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports. The carrier can carry more than 50 aircrafts and its weapons systems include Granit anti-ship missiles
The other vehicles accompanying this carrier include the nuclear-powered battle cruiser, Peter the Great. The deployment also includes two large anti-submarine warships as well as four support vessels.
It is believed that President Putin and the Russian armed forces intend to bring the battle for the opposition-controlled Aleppo to a close as soon as they can. The escalating verbal tussles between Russian and American officials has led some in Russia and Syria to fear that NATO forces may intervene in the Syrian conflict.
However, Russia has made it clear that anyone who attacks Syria or attacks the Syrian government, will be engaged by Russian military forces which are operating inside Syria with the permission of the Syrian government.
The lines have been drawn. Will this be the beginning of a war to which there is no return? We will all know within two weeks.