S ource: Interfax
Britain and France are preparing to send in a major Mediterranean naval group led by the aircraft carriers
INTERFAX.RU – Britain and France will soon be sent to the eastern Mediterranean, a powerful grouping of the Navy, Western media reported, citing sources in the British military.
The composition of the joint task group from the British side will include helicopter Illustrious, a large amphibious assault ship Bulwark with 400 marines on board, as well as the destroyer, frigate and a submarine. France will be represented by a compound aircraft carrier as part of an aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and ships outposts.
As part of the British ships would be in defense destroyer Defender, is able to protect the group from the Syrian anti-ship cruise missiles stationed on the coast.
It is expected that the ships set sail after the Olympic Games, as currently Illustrious helicopter involved in providing security in the London area. He was inducted into the River Thames in the center of the British capital, and will remain there until the end of the Olympics.
The official version of the War Department of Great Britain, the British and French ships of Task Force will take part in the exercises Cougar-12 in the eastern Mediterranean. The training objective is to develop amphibious operations with the landing on the shore of the potential enemy. In particular, it is conducting amphibious operations on the coast of the Italian island of Sardinia, Albania and Turkey. Following this, the ships will go to the coast of Cyprus, located 150 km from Syria, which will continue teaching.
Meanwhile, a source in the UK Ministry of Defence has assured that the ships would not participate in any military action against Syria, and will be located in the eastern Mediterranean in case the need for evacuation of British nationals from the region.
“At the moment the question of any military purpose should not be, our goal is solely to have a plan in case of evacuation of British subjects, if the conflict spread to Lebanon and Jordan – the source said. – The worst case scenario would be terrorist attacks in Lebanon and Jordan, the Syrian authorities if they want to destabilize the entire region. ”
“It is possible that if the situation will result in a flood of refugees, then we will need to take care of its citizens,” – said a senior officer in the Royal Navy. According to the British military, the ships will stay away from the Syrian coast, and may be involved only in escorting civilian vessels, which will take out foreign nationals traveling from Syria and neighboring countries.
Note that in the middle of July it became known to form in the Mediterranean, Russia mezhflotskoy group consisting of ships of the Northern and Baltic fleets, which were to join the already in the Mediterranean, Black Sea Fleet ships. The Northern Fleet in the group represented by large landing ships “Alexander Otrakovsky,” “George” and “Kondopoga”, as well as a large antisubmarine ship “Vice-Admiral Kulakov.” The Baltic Fleet patrol ships represent the “Yaroslav the Wise,” “Fearless” and the rescue tug “SBS-921″ Black Sea Fleet has sent patrol “Smetliviy” and BBC “Nicholas Fil’chenkov” and “Caesar Kunikov.”
In the Defense Ministry said that the ships will conduct exercises in the Mediterranean, and can go to the Syrian port of Tartus , where Russia inherited from the Soviet Union point to logistics (E & P) of the Navy. The ministry, however, agree that the purpose of the visit will only recharge and do not in any way a show of force in support of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, unsuccessfully trying to suppress the rebellion broke out in the country last spring.
The Russian General Staff, however, said that in the event of an attack on the Syrian rebels E & P of the Navy to use force to protect their property.
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