Russia sends warships to Syria — what does Putin hope to achieve?

As Syria continues to implode (the horrific death toll now tops 60,000) — and the countdown to something catastrophic seems to be in motion — Russian President Vladimir Putin now appears to be moving naval and marine forces for possible intervention in Syria, or at least to deter Western powers from trying to intervene in the civil-war-torn country. Some reports say Moscow is sending five Russian warships. Another reports says 12 warships are heading to the Syrian coast. What exactly does Putin hope to achieve? Only time will tell. For now, please keep praying for the Lord to intervene and bring calm to Syria and for the followers of Christ there and around the world to have wisdom to know how best to help the suffering.

“A flotilla of five Russian warships laden with hundreds of troops, which is headed toward Syria, is a show of force meant to deter Western armies from intervening in the war-torn nation,” reports the Times of Israel, citing information provided by the London-based Sunday Times. Previous reports cited Russian diplomats to the effect that the vessels were being put in place in order to evacuate thousands of Russians who still remain in Syria if the situation in the country called for it. However, a Russian intelligence source was quoted on Sunday as saying that the presence of over 300 marines on the ships was meant as a deterrent to keep countries hostile to the Bashar Assad regime — a key ally of the Kremlin — from landing special forces in the country. ‘Russia should be prepared for any developments, as it believes the situation in Syria might reach its peak before Easter,’ a Russian diplomatic source was quoted as saying.”

“Russia has been preparing for major naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean,” reports World Tribune. “Officials said the Russian Navy has sent at least 12 warships for exercises in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden in January. They said the exercises would include demonstrations of anti-submarine and air defense operations near the coast of Syria. ‘The Russian Navy’s drills of this scope will be held for the first time over the past few decades and are designed to improve control, ensure and practice multi-service force interaction of the fleets in the far-off maritime zones,’ the Russian Defense Ministry said.”

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