Russia deploys warships to Syria coast after Turkey loses 33 soldiers in attack, Erdogan begging NATO for help


Russia deploys warships to Syria coast after Turkey loses 33 soldiers in attack, Erdogan begging NATO for help


Russia deploys warships to Syria coast after Turkey loses 33 soldiers in attack, Erdogan begging NATO for help

By Matthew Bodner

LONDON — Russia on Friday announced it had dispatched two state-of-the-art warships to the Middle East after an attack in Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers.

Videos posted on social media showed two of Russia’s newest guided missile frigates, the Admiral Grigorovich and the Admiral Makarov, making their way through the Bosporus, a Turkish-controlled chokepoint that runs through Istanbul, on their way to the Syrian coast.

Though Russia and Turkey have seen a rapprochement in recent years, much to the chagrin of the United States and its NATO allies, the two sides pursue opposing goals in Syria: Moscow backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara backs rebel groups opposing him in northern Syria.

Turkey has beefed up its support — both in men and material — for rebel forces in the face of a Syrian regime assault on the last remaining opposition stronghold in Idlib province. The escalation of violence has again highlighted Russia’s and Turkey’s conflicting interests in Syria.

The Russian defense ministry said Friday that the Turkish forces in Idlib came under Syrian government fire while operating alongside “terrorist formations” near the settlement of Behun, referring to Turkish-backed rebels.

“[Russian forces] have constantly requested and confirmed with their Turkish colleagues the coordinates of the location of all units of the Turkish armed forces positioned near the areas of terrorist actions,” the Russian statement said.

The statement said that Turkey failed to notify Russia that its troops were operating in the region while simultaneously denying that any Russian aircraft were conducting strikes in the region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking at a press conference Friday, expressed his condolences for the Turkish soldiers, but noted that the incident would have been prevented if Ankara had honored a deconflict agreement between the two militaries in the region.


BIOGRAPHY

Assistant Managing Editor

Ian Greenhalgh is a photographer and historian with a particular interest in military history and the real causes of conflicts.

His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.

His favored areas of study include state sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.

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