June 19, 2012
Media outlets in Iran are reporting that Iran plans to participate in a war game with Russia, China and Syria in the near future and preparations will be carried out in the next few days.
Syria’s Arabic language ShamLife website added that the preparations are progressing at an “accelerated pace” and will likely occur within a month. ShamLife reported that 90,000 troops from the four countries will participate in the exercise along with 400 aircraft, 1,000 tanks and a large number of rockets. Syria will test its air and coastal defenses during the exercise.
Iran’s Fars New Agency also quoted â€śinformed sourcesâ€ť as stating the exercise will include ground troops and joint air and naval forces. It said Russian nuclear submarines are prepared to sail to Syria and participate.
ShamLife said that China had gained permission to move twelve ships loaded with military equipment through the Suez Canal. The ships will reach the Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia within two weeks, the website said.
Fars said no official word has come from the governments allegedly involved in the war game.
Over the weekend, Infowars.com reported that the Russian General Staff had announced it will send warships from the Black Sea Fleet to the Syrian coast to protect the Russian logistics base in Tartus.
On Tuesday, the Russian news source RIA Novosti said a Russian amphibious landing ship, the Caesar Kunikov, departed the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on Tuesday for what a Black Sea Fleet officer explained was a routine exercise.
On Monday, the Black Fleet command dismissed reports that the Russians would send arms to Syria aboard a large amphibious ship.