Tuesday, February 21, 2012

21-Feb-12: Iranian naval ships complete Syrian mission and head home, leaving behind... what?

The Iranian supply vessel, the Kharg. Looks to have the
capacity to carry a large load of... 'maritime training'. [Image source]
The Kharg was one of two Iranian vessels that made
a delivery to the same Syrian port a year earlier.
The New York Times says the two Iranian warships that docked in a Syrian port this past weekend have left. (See our comment: "20-Feb-12: Those Iranian warships are making their presence felt in Syria"). The NYT article says the vessels have already left the Mediterranean, and are sailing south through the Suez Canal toward the Red Sea.
"State media in Iran quoted the defense minister, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, would continue to “beef up” its presence in international waters. It was not clear whether the vessels unloaded cargo or had docked in the port as a symbolic display of Iranian support for Syria, a critical regional ally whose government it has supported against the uprising that started in March, 2011... Russia recently sent ships to the same Syrian port, activists said."
The purpose of the vessels arriving in the area on Friday was said to be
“to provide maritime training to naval forces of Syria under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago.”
If so, the Iranians have proven to be super-efficient users of time. But given that the vessels were a destroyer and a supply ship, and that the Iranians have for decades been the principal supplier of weapons of destruction (mass and individual) to the terrorist groups, notably but not only Hizbollah and Hamas, and to the blood-drenched Al-Assad regime in Damascus, most analysts are looking for non-pedagogical factors to explain the visit.

No comments: