April 10, 2019
Not for the Jews though!
When Russia was invited to set up a fortified base in Hmeimim, in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia, and another in the port city of Tartus, it was under the assumption it would have the sole foreign military presence along Syria’s Mediterranean coast.
The Hmeimim tenure was open-ended, while the use of Tartus naval facility was granted until 2065 and renewable by mutual consent. However, from next October the Russians will no longer have the neighborhood to themselves – as Iran has leased parts of the port of Latakia.
Iran’s arrival on the scene raises serious political and security concerns for Moscow.
Iran doesn’t have much of a navy.
But they can harass another country’s navy with their small torpedo-armed speedboats.
This means that Iran doesn’t have the ability to project power over long distances, i.e., a blue water navy, but they can harass much bigger navies with this asymmetric strategy.
For some reason, they’re saying that this is a bad thing for Russia.
The lease of Latakia will not only end Russia’s exclusive presence in the coastal district, it may also put Russian troops and military vehicles at risk.
Hmeimim was subjected to a series of drone attacks between January and October of 2018 and having the Iranians so close would create a higher risk of similar operations in the area, whether by Israel, the United States, or other players on the Syrian battlefield seeking to settle old scores with the Iranians.
So basically, you are going to have America and Israel bombing the Iranians and because the Russians are nearby, they’re going to get bombed accidentally as well?
This was Israel’s MO in Syria last year.
Then Putin and Bibi had that meeting in Moscow and it came to an end. Putin and his top military people rattled their sabers and the Israelis had to back down.
The Russian military people just said that they’d start shooting down Israeli jets and that was the end of that. The Israelis believed it.
I doubt that this new Iranian port would change the new status quo.
Hezbollah runs Lebanon anyway. So Iran could always use their ports. Still, the more the merrier.