Russia’s naval buildup off Syria grows alarmingly – UPI.com

The Russian naval buildup in the eastern Mediterra­nean off Syria has reached disturbing proportions and threatens to intensify the war in Syria.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Russian naval buildup in the eastern Mediterra­nean off Syria has reached disturbing proportions and threatens to intensify the war in Syria, a clear challenge to the United States and NATO made more pointed because it is taking place as Donald Trump prepares to become the United States’ com­mander-in-chief.

Some military experts said they suspect the naval force that Russia has assembled in the eastern Medi­terranean presages a significant intensification of Russia’s air and missile strikes against rebel forces battling its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Others see it as a glorified train­ing exercise in long-distance power projection by the Kremlin to show off its new and untested naval air arm and to demonstrate that Russia can do whatever the United States can — all to consolidate Russian President Vladimir Putin’s push to reinstate Moscow’s Cold War influ­ence in the region.

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