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Iran, Russia, China, Syria to Stage Biggest Joint Wargames in Middle-East [UPDATED]
06-19-2012, 10:56 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-20-2012, 12:00 AM by h3rm35.)
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Iran, Russia, China, Syria to Stage Biggest Joint Wargames in Middle-East [UPDATED]
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http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=44448&pid=237107#pid237107
Iran, Russia, China, Syria to Stage Biggest Joint Wargames in Middle-East

By Fars News Agency

June 19, 2012 -- TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Syrian armies are due to stage joint amphibious exercises along the Syrian costs in coming weeks, informed sources revealed on Monday.

According to informed sources, 90,000 forces from the four countries will take part in the land and sea wargames due to be held in Syria.

Ground, air and sea forces as well as air defense and missile units of the four countries will take part in the exercises.

Sources also said that Egypt has acceded to grant passage to 12 Chinese warships to sail through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is due to dock at the Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.

Russian atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria at around the same date.

Syria plans to test its coast-to-sea and air defense missiles in the wargames.

A sum of 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks will also be used in the exercises.

A Syrian official, who asked to remain anonymous, had informed two weeks ago that the drills would be conducted in Syria soon.

Unofficial sources also said the four countries are now busy with taking swift preparatory measures for these biggest-ever wargames in the Middle-East.

Sham Life reported that the maneuvers will be stage in less than one month from now, that is early June.

©2006 Fars News Agency. All rights reserved



See also - Russia, Syria deny war games with China and Iran: Russia and Syria on Tuesday denied an Iranian media report that Syria would host Russian, Chinese and Iranian military forces for joint exercises.

Russian Ship Stopped Over Suspected Arms Shipment to Syria: A British insurance company has cancelled insurance for a Russian ship it believes is carrying munitions to Syria, effectively halting the vessel unless another insurer agrees to cover it.

Russian Ship, Loaded With Attack Helos, Turns Away From Syria

A transport ship the U.S. believes is carrying attack helicopters to Syria is now heading back to Russia. Ostensibly, the MV Alaed turned around after its insurance coverage was pulled. But the ship’s return coincides with a meeting between Obama and Vladimir Putin — a sign the two leaders may be starting to cooperate on what to do about Syria’s deadly war.

According to press reports, the Alaed, with its load of Mi-25 attack helos, had its insurance yanked by its British insurer, Standard Club, on Monday. The insurer had been reportedly approached by British security services and informed that providing insurance to the Alaed, which is owned by Russian cargo line Femco, violated European Union sanctions prohibiting arms sales to Syria. The insurer pulled its coverage, and the ship then turned back toward the Russian port of Kaliningrad. The ship had earlier stopped about 50 miles off Scotland’s northwest coast.

“The foreign secretary made clear to Russian foreign minister [Sergey] Lavrov when they met on 14 June that all defence shipments to Syria must stop,” a British Foreign Office statement read. The Foreign Office added that it is “working closely with international partners” to “stop the Syrian regime’s ability to slaughter civilians being reinforced through assistance from other countries.”

But it’s not clear if the ship was also ordered to return to port by Russian authorities. EU sanctions, for one, do not have jurisdiction over Russian ships. If Russia really wanted the ship to continue to Syria, and remained complicit in the slaughter of civilians, then it’s unlikely anyone could have stopped them. But letting the ship continue on its way would also contradict statements made by Vladimir Putin on Monday during the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. During the leaders’ two-hour meeting, which is the first time the two have met as presidents, Putin and Obama agreed to a “peaceful” resolution to Syria’s bloodshed.

“In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of the violence and we pledged to work with other international actors, including the United Nations, Kofi Annan, including the movement towards a political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system, which would be exercised by the Syrians in the framework of the sovereignty, independence, unity and the territorial integrity of Syria,” a joint statement issued by the two presidents read.

But there was no agreement on what to do about Bashar Assad. Russia won’t go so far as to throw one of its oldest allies out of power. Nor was there even a peep about endorsing any kind of military intervention to stop the massacres, which would entail overthrowing Assad like NATO overthrew Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. On the other hand, Moscow has agreed in the past on some (limited) steps: telling Assad to withdraw artillery and other heavy weapons from urban areas, and endorsing a cease fire.

Meanwhile, Putin’s reception to NATO’s missile interceptors in Europe was frosty. Putin asked for a legal guarantee from Obama that the interceptors will not target Russia’s own nuclear forces (the missile “shield” is ostensibly directed at Iran). Despite disagreements, a joint statement read, the United States and Russia agree “to continue joint search for ways to resolve controversial issues in the area of missile defense.” The two leaders also agreed to strictly implement the new START treaty, which limits deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe.

The timing also coincides Tuesday with more denials from the Russian Defense Ministry that amphibious landing ships loaded with marines were headed to the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia maintains its only warm water port outside of the former Soviet Union. A Defense Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti that the ship, the Kaliningrad (not to be confused with the port of the same name), “is currently taking part in the Celtic Week [festival] and will soon return to its home port,” the spokesman said. Another landing ship, the Caesar Kunikov, was also rumored to be heading to Syria. Russian officials said it’s really participating in a routine exercise.

If only the two leaders could see eye-to-eye on Assad. But sending attack gunships like the Hind back to port, well, that’s a start.
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