Crossfire War – Russia Sends Naval Squadron to Mediterranean

Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=MOSCOW – BERLIN – WASHINGTON WATCH – Mediterranean Theatre: Moscow – Berlin – Washington – Madrid – Paris – Rome – Cairo/Rabat – Algiers – Tripoli – Tunis – Damascus – Beirut – Tehran; Russia Re-Establishes Naval Presence in Eastern Mediterranean – Parcel Bomb Explodes in Central Paris

Night Watch: TARTUS – France24/Reuters reports Russia Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has just announced the Russian Navy will begin exercises in the Mediterranean for the first time since the end of the Cold War in 1990. “The aim of the sortie is to ensure a naval presence in the tactically important regions of the world oceans.” The Minister announced 11 ships will take part in the exercises and an aircraft carrier will lead them. That was the only public announcement as to the purpose of Serdyukov’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin, the rest of the meeting being closed. But the real reason for these exercises should be no mystery, it is another sign Moscow has begun to regain not only its international presence under Putin but with the full military cooperation with the West. This is the naval counterpart of Russia’s strategic bomber flights that have been escorted by aircraft from the West since August and the target is Iran and other Islamic governments working with Tehran, Damascus-Anakra. [FRANCE24]

When the Russian navy was active in the Mediterranean one of its regular ports of call for servicing was the Syrian port of Tartus, but with Damascus’ military alignment with Tehran Russia’s access to Tartus may become difficult. I suspect when the Russia squadron arrives on station they will openly conduct joint maneuvers with the European-U. S. ships in the Eastern Mediterranean that provide support for the European units in south Lebanon serving under UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and it is not only Damascus-Tehran opposed to their mission of occupation. As soon as the European combat-support ships arrived in September 2006, Ankara announced the Eastern Mediterranean was Turkey’s responsibility. Ankara definitely agrees with Tehran having al-Qaeda in Lebanon state UNIFIL is an enemy of Islam and so are the Russian warships arriving in support. Moscow may have to temporarily transfer its support services to the British naval base at Cyprus.

Moscow has dispatched another squadron to the Northeast Atlantic, which can be used as reinforcement. Governments in the West, led by Berlin, knew the main military response against Tehran would have to come through Russia. Moscow will replace Washington as the main foreign presence in the region after the war. Russia operates with financing from the West especially from Germany, the purchaser of most of Russia’s raw materials. As has stated recently U. S. President George W. Bush’s policy sea change shift, due to the contrived National Intelligence Estimate, of Tehran no longer pursuing nuclear weapons is the best indication to date of Washington’s gradual disengagement from West Asia. Moscow is filling the vacuum Washington is leaving.

Boulevard des Malesherbes – Tehran delivered a small indication of its displeasure with France President Nicolas Sarkozy by delivering two parcel bombs to the building in Paris that houses a law firm where Sarkozy was employed. The building was on the Boulevard des Malesherbes in the 8th arrondissement (district) and killed a secretary and injured five more. A second bomb was defused before it exploded. France24/Reuters quoted lawyer Christian Charriere-Bournazel, “The bomb exploded on the fourth floor not on the floor where the law firm of the current President is based.” The building houses the firm of Arnaud Claude and Associates where Sarkozy was at one time employed and has retained a thirty percent ownership. [FRANCE24]

Tehran made no secret of hating the statements of France Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, not long after Sarkozy’s election in May, when Kouchner said France and the world must be prepared for the worst, the possibility of war with Iran, statements Sarkozy fully supported. At the time, Tehran just called them “illogical” but I knew Iran’s real response would be through events, which this is just a small indication.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.