Gunboat diplomacy is in full spate in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Washington is underscoring its military option against Iran's nuclear program, while Russia is demonstrating its resolve to prevent NATO attacking Syria after Libya and defending Bashar Assad's regime. Monday, Nov. 21,
Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov accused Western nations of "political provocation" by urging the Syrian opposition to refuse to negotiate a settlement with Assad.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, advised Assad: "You can only continue with tanks and guns to a certain point, the day will come when you will go."
debkafile's military sources note that Russia and America adopted aggressive postures on Nov. 12, when two American carriers, the USS Bush and USS Stennis sailed through the Strait of Hormuz side by side and took up position opposite the Iranian coast.
That was also the day when a mysterious explosion at the Revolutionary Guards base near Tehran wiped out the entire leadership of Iran's ballistic missile program.
Five days later, on Nov. 17, the Syrian news agency reported three Russian naval vessels on the Mediterranean were heading toward Syria.
Monday, Nov. 21, presidential sources in Damascus announced three warships had entered Syrian territorial waters outside Tartus port. more