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Damascus - Report: 'Iran, Russia, China, Syria Plan 'Largest' War Game'

Published on: June 19, 2012 10:06 AM
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Damascus - Iranian media outlets reported on Tuesday that Iran, Russia, China and Syria are to conduct joint military exercises in Syria next month.

The semi-official Fars News outlet, which has ties to the Iranian government, cited “certain unofficial sources” in its report but did not say what those sources were.

The report appears to have originated on Arabic language Syrian media outlet ShamLife, which said the war-games were scheduled in less than a month’s time.

Other Iranian media outlets, including the Revolutionary Guards-linked Mashregh News and Mehr News, which is owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization, also carried the same report on Tuesday, but did not cite any Iranian official sources confirming it.

Fars admitted that there has as yet been no official announcement confirming the war-games, but cited an unnamed Syrian official had declared that a joint exercise between those four countries would be carried out “soon”.

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Preparations for those exercises would be carried out in the next few days, Fars quoted “informed sources” as saying, adding that the exercises would involve ground troops, air forces and naval forces.

Meanwhile, the ShamLife report said “sources” had confirmed previous leaks about the wargames, and that preparations for the military exercise were being carried out at an “accelerated pace”.

According to ShamLife, China had gained Egyptian approval to allow 12 Chinese ships carrying military equipment to pass through the Suez Canal, and that these vessels would reach the Syrian ports of Tartous and Latakia in two weeks’ time.

ShamLife said Syrian air defense missiles and its coastal defense would be put to the test in the military exercises, and that 90,000 troops from the four countries would be involved in the war games along with 400 aircraft and 1,000 tanks and “hundreds of rockets.”

The exercises would be carried out after Syrian troops had “cleansed” several cities where “armed groups” - meaning Syrian opposition forces fighting against government troops loyal to President Bashar Assad - were gathering.

The Syrian opposition has frequently accused the Iranian regime of supporting Assad and providing his forces with material and equipment to suppress the revolution.

Meanwhile, Fars added in its report that no official sources from Syria, Russia, China or Iran had confirmed the war games would take place.

Fars also noted that in addition to the Chinese ships, Russian nuclear submarines and warships would also sail to Syria.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Russian media said Russian naval officials denied reports that its Black Sea Fleet ship, the Caesar Kunikov (BDK 64), a military landing craft home-ported in Sevastopol, had set sail for Syria.

RIA Novosti cited an unnamed Black Fleet officer as saying the Kunikov set sail for a routine test at a training base and was not headed to the Mediterranean.

According to RIA Novosti the same Fleet commander also dismissed reports in the Ukrainian and Western media reports that another Black Sea amphibious ship was headed to Syria carrying weapons and marines.

The commander said Western reports that Alligator class landing ship Nikolay Filichenkov was heading for the Syrian port of Tartous were false.

Tartous is home to a Cold War-era Russian naval supply and maintenance base, which was established in 1971 and still staffed by Russian naval personnel.

In July 2009, RIA Novosti reported that the Russian Navy planned to expand and modernize its Tartous base, the only Russian foothold in the Mediterranean.

Also on Tuesday, the BBC reported that the UK had stopped a cargo vessel off the western coast of Scotland allegedly transporting Russian-made refurbished attack helicopters to Syria. British marine insurer the Standard Club canceled cover to the MV Alaed’s owners after UK security services warned that the company would breach EU sanctions if it insured a ship carrying arms to Syria, according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph.

Last week, the US accused Russia of sending attack helicopters to Syria to support Assad’s regime, which Russia denied.



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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:10 AM Liepa Says:

Who would have thought that Syria after over a year of exercises in killing and destruction needs more millitary exercises.

2

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM Taiwan is the True Democratic China Says:

"China had gained Egyptian approval to allow 12 Chinese ships carrying military equipment to pass through the Suez Canal, and that these vessels would reach the Syrian ports of Tartous and Latakia in two weeks’ time"

Wake up Israel!

3

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM pinny Says:

these war games should be rather simple ,just fire shells into residential areas . dont have to worry about return fire!!

4

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM concerned_Jew Says:

Scary!

5

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM Phineas Says:

I guess it's possible but I won't believe this news until Russia and China confirm their participation.

6

 Jun 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM AlbertEinstein Says:

If I put EADSIM on a laptop, and take it to Yerushalayim, then hook up to friends in the US, Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, and South Korea, I can also claim to have a multinational wargame - among Israel, the US, Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, and South Korea.

This article isn't worth the electrons it was transmitted on.

7

 Jun 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM Yitzi1 Says:

Russia and China could do what they want but Obama needs to ask the world permission before doing anythhing. Obama is realy making America look bad. I hope Obama doesn't make a grave mistake by taking out the defense system from eastern Europe. Oh nevermind I forgot we first need russias permission maybe Obama should bow to putin and beg.

8

 Jun 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM RebKlemson Says:

what on earth is wrong with the chinese and russians. they are condoning mass murder in this brutal regime. they are supporting the criminals. horrible

9

 Jun 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM Kzler Says:

Syria is shnei kaporos beyoim echod. The U.S. should stay away and E.Y. should not have any tzores

10

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