Well, things in Syria are getting a bit more complicated. Weeks after the news that special operators from NATO countries may be inside Syria advising the rebels, comes the news that Russia has dispatched counterterrorism troops to the embattled nation.
Now, some news reports say the Russian’s claim they’ve just sent a Navy tanker to support anti-piracy operations in Middle Eastern waters and that any troops aboard that ship are simply there to protect the tanker’s civilian crew and that there are no Russian counterterror troop in Syria. Now, the ship is docked in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea. That’s a very long way from the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Sea — the site of most anti-piracy ops. Hey, it could just be making a brief port call. Oh wait, other reports say the ship, and its complement of Russian marines, is in Tartus “to demonstrate Kremlin concern over Syria’s stability, and to assist in case of a possible evacuation of Russian civilians from the region”
While Moscow says it’s officially neutral in the conflict between the Syrian government and its people, Russia continues to sell arms to the Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime.
Needless to say, if these Russian troops come ashore in Syria, it will make any intervention by the West a bit more difficult.