BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:10 P.M.) – The Russian military is preparing to conduct large-scale naval drills in the eastern Mediterranean, as a U.S. aircraft carrier group enters the region.
According to the Russian publication Avia.Pro, the Russian military will conduct a series of missile exercises that involves the navy and troops at the Hmeimim (Khmeimim) Airbase in Syria.
“A few hours ago, it became known that in connection with the appearance of American warships in the Mediterranean Sea, including the Harry Truman aircraft carrier, which leads the aircraft carrier strike group, Russian warships intend to conduct a series of missile strikes and special operations throughout the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea and at military bases in Syria,” the publication said.
“On April 7, 9, 10, 17, 21, 23 and 30, the forces of the Navy’s Mediterranean Group plans to carry out intensive combat training activities with practical missile and artillery firing in designated areas of the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea,” they continued. “The increased activity of the forces of the Russian Navy and the relative remoteness of their operations from Syria’s Tartous is connected, inter alia, with the presence of USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier-multipurpose group in those parts of the world.”
The Russian military has already conducted naval drills in the eastern Mediterranean this month; however, this week’s exercises were just announced, which could coincide with the presence of the U.S.’ aircraft carrier group in the region.
“Russian frigates, armed with Caliber cruise missiles, will give an excellent demonstration of the power of the Russian fleet. American AUGs can no longer enter the Mediterranean Sea without having sent their planes for preliminary reconnaissance, and this, obviously, indicates a complete lack of mastery of the situation,” a military specialist told Avia.Pro.