MOSCOW: Russia may use its naval forces to establish a blockade along the Syrian coastline to facilitate the delivery of armaments into Syrian territory, a senior parliamentary official says.
Vladimir Komoyedov, who heads the Defense Committee of Russias State Duma (lower house of parliament), said the vessels of the Russian Navys Black Sea Fleet would be used, during the potential mission, to bring in weaponry, Russias Ria Novosti news agency reported.
Regarding the large-scale use of the Black Sea Fleet in this operation, I dont think it will happen, but in terms of a coastal blockade, I think that its quite [possible], he said, adding, The delivery of artillery strikes hasnt been excluded; the ships are ready for this, but there is no point in it for now. The terrorists are in deep, where the artillery cannot reach.
Russia is currently running a naval facility in the western Syrian province of Tartus, which provides Moscow with access to the Mediterranean Sea. Four Russian warships, including a missile cruiser and a destroyer, are currently deployed in the eastern Mediterranean.
Russias ITAR-TASS news agency, meanwhile, quoted the Russian official as announcing that a contingent of Russian forces would surely join the Syrian military in the future in its fight against terrorist groups.
Surely, a unit of Russian volunteers, combatants, will appear in the ranks of the Syrian army, he said.
The developments come more than a week after Moscow began an aerial military campaign against the Daesh Takfiri militants and other terrorist groups in Syria upon a request from the Damascus government.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the key objectives of Moscows air campaign in Syria is to preserve the Arab countrys territorial integrity.
Russian raids have drawn criticism from Western governments and their allies in the Middle East, which have been supporting the militants operating in the region.
Some members of a US-led coalition have been pounding purported Daesh positions inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a United Nations mandate since last September. The campaign has so far failed to dislodge the group. Agencies
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.