September 3, 2015 2:51am UK time
5 Chinese War Ships Arrive On The Coast Of Alaska – 3rd China Blast – Russia Troops In Syria
Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating in Bering Sea Off Alaska Coast
Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, Pentagon officials said Wednesday, marking the first time the U.S. military has seen them in the area.
The officials have been tracking the movements in recent days of three Chinese combat ships, a replenishment vessel and an amphibious landing ship after observing them moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control.
“This would be a first in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands,” one defense official said of the Chinese ships, which have been operating in international waters. “I don’t think we’d characterize anything they’re doing as threatening,” the official said.
The end of summer. It means back-to-school shopping, tearfully ended beach-borne romances, Labor Day barbecues—and, it would seem, the increased likelihood of new Russian adventurism. As if Moscow weren’t satisfied with the game in Ukraine, the last month has seen a flurry of reports about its ever-expanding military involvement in Syria.
One report has even alleged that Russian pilots are gearing up to fly missions alongside the Syrian air force, dropping bombs not just on ISIS but on anti-Assad rebels who may or may not be aligned with the United States or its regional allies.
Several sources consulted for this story said the Pentagon is being unusually cagey about Russia’s reinvigorated role in Syria. A former U.S. military officer told The Daily Beast, “I’m being told things like, ‘We really can’t talk about this.’ That indicates to me that there’s some truth to these allegations.”
Some of them are verifiable. On August 22, the Bosphorus Naval News website showed the Alligator-class Russian ship Nikolai Filchenkov, part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, two days earlier passing through Istanbul’s famed waterway en route to an unknown location in the Mediterranean (hint, hint).
But what was remarkable about the Filchenkov was that military equipment was visible on deck—namely, Kamaz trucks and, judging by the tarpaulin outlines, at least four BTR infantry fighting vehicles. (This doesn’t include any matériel that might have been stored in the ship’s below-deck cargo hold.)
On August 24, the Oryx Blog, which tracks military dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa, discovered that at least one BTR-82A had turned up in the coastal province of Latakia, where Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s family hails from and which has lately been contested, impressively, by Jaysh al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a collection of Islamist rebels groups including Jabhat al Nusra, the official al Qaeda franchise in Syria.
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