Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) continues to monitor ‘substantial’ Russian naval activity in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and will revise the schedule for exercises, say the alliance.
NATO says it will postpone exercise Dynamic Guard to provide flexibility in the schedule to support Allied operational interests.

This move is in response to Russia staging a large-scale military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea near Syria, involving both its Navy and Air Force. The drills were held amid ongoing escalation around Idlib.

Footage released by Russia’s Defence Ministry shows Russianl Forces landing on the shores of Syria’s Latakia province. The troops used helicopters, fast-attack craft and armoured vehicles while landing from amphibious ships under the cover of combat aircraft.

SNMG2 ships including flagship HNLMS De Ruyter, HMCS Ville de Quebec, HS Elli and ESPS Cristobal Colon, in coordination with additional Allied navy units in the area, will support maritime situational awareness throughout the eastern Mediterranean.
According to the alliance in a news release:
“Several Allied nations border the eastern Mediterranean Sea and have a vested interest in maintaining awareness of activities in the region. Maintaining this flexibility in the schedule of operations for the standing maritime groups allows the ships to provide value back to Allied nations.
Maritime Situational Awareness supports greater awareness, safety at sea and reduces the risk of any mistakes or miscalculation.”
Dynamic Guard is a multinational air defence and electronic warfare exercise. The aim of this exercise is to maintain proficiency in electronic warfare and anti-ship missile defence of vessels assigned to NATO.

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Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

The Russian’s are going to be responsible for a massacre in Idlib, whilst NATO watches on and does nothing, despite Russia commuting crimes against humanity and supporting a dictator also guilty of crimes against humanity.
It is going to be interesting over the next few weeks whether NATO will do anything to stop Idlib from falling.

dave12
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dave12

Well said be Mr Bell I’m sure sarin will be used followed by the very accurate barrel bombs lol!!!

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Unfortunately a totally messed up and aimless western foreign policy has handed Russian a nation with oil access, a meditation coastline and most importantly the ability to act as a choke piont to suez. This may have been the biggest home goal since Iraq 2, when will we learn the rest of the world has no interest in taking forward western values and will not just fall into line because we undermine or remove whichever dictator is in power at the time. It seems that some of our opponents ( Russia, China etc are not competitors they are opponents even… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

I agree. However I am not sure what we do about it. The issue is that we will not (and rightly so) simply accept mass civilian deaths to kill a few militants. Russia has no such morals so will happily carpet bomb cities. It gets results and then they support a leader that will also do anything to keep control while we try to back less brutal leaders. If you want to keep rule over chaos then you need to be willing to kill children, women, and pretty much everyone in your way. This is not compatible with our morals… Read more »

DaveyB
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DaveyB

I must agree this is a massive conundrum that our Nation’s forces and politicians face. With are progressive values and rule of armed conflict. We have stepped away from what war entails in respect to the loss of life. We now go out of our way to protect life even to the extant of scrubbing a mission if there’s any suspicion of collateral damage. This is further enforced by the laws we have introduced. By example this has caused the recent policing wars of Iraq and Afghanistan to be significantly drawn out and made overly complicated. But, what is the… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

I think we keep our values but we need to become far more clever when it comes to the politics and strategy as well as the equipment we use. ie Do we keep sending Typhoons (and possibly F35s) to kill bomb a compound in an area that is void of enemy aircraft when a Hawk could do the job for much less cost?

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Hi Lee As you say, rightly we will not go down the road to brutality, but we ( I mean the west) have over the passed 20 is years, fallen into the habit of destabilising and interviewing against dictators we don’t like. In my view unless we are looking a full scale genocide in a nation the west is willing to fully committee to over the long term or we or friends are directly threatened we need to step away, half assed interventions such as Libya or Syria just creates misery on a massive scale/prologes it all and then others… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

I agree to a point although there are times when it is probably beneficial to us and the local population for a dictator to be removed… However what we always fail to do is to commit troops, resources and money to that country afterwards in order to support it while it rebuilds. Look at Iraq. We went in there and very successfully removed Saddam. The people were pretty happy with that. However instead of increasing the numbers of troops in order to protect engineers, politicians and the general public while it was getting back to its feet we pulled troops… Read more »

Jonathan
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Jonathan

I agree, my issue with Iraq is not the intervention, it’s the when of it and as you say the follow up. Saddam had crossed a line years before even Iraq 1. Any intevention should possibly have happened earlier and had more long term support with a better understand of the power dynamics within the nation, forcing democracy into a tribal system of government does not work well.

Our follow on actions in Libya and Syria have just been appalling in the lack of clarity, understanding of impact and the fact they have just added to the chaos.

Andrew
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Andrew

It’s hardly an own goal…. Syria, was, is and will continue to be in the Soviet/Russian sphere of influence…
The western countries failed to differentiate between the popular uprising and the extreme Islamic militants when military equipment was being sent into the country…

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Another potential flashpoint and a very good reason for the UK to greatly increase its defence spending as we depart the EU in six months time.

First type 26 due in 2027, no idea when the type 31e will arrive or in what form, and our army reduced to ridiculous numbers.

Wake up call for NATO and HMG. Our foreign aid budget can be used for a great many things!

Lee1
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Lee1

Indeed. Our foreign aid budget can be used for lots of great things to keep countries stable and prevent them from falling into chaos in the first place.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Indead, instead of money into low risk stable nations ( India et al) it should be focused very much on nations deamed at risk.

We could also focus on using it to help the stabilisation of failed states, but for that we need to have a UN that can provide the security element.

P tattersall
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P tattersall

Russian navy ? More like russian scrap yard ! Russia realistically are no threat apart from nuclear

Lee Fear
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Lee Fear

They may not be a direct threat to us. However they are a direct threat to other countries. Look at Crimea… They just walked in and stole a load of Ukraines navy.

dave12
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dave12

True but they have numbers, not sure if that matters or not. Putin getting rid of the national pension to fund its nukes shows you how determined he is to keep the strength in numbers going.

barry white
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barry white

Thats as maybe
But would you like to put it to the test?
I dont think so

barry white
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barry white

This war could have been stopped in its tracks When Cameron proposed a no-fly zone the leader of the Labour party at the time said yes what a good idea and agreed When the vote came in parliament Labour said no and the rest is history I wonder who it was that that persuaded others to vote it down ? Whoever it was (i have my thoughts on that ) has the blood of all those that have been killed and wounded in this conflict on his hands Perhaps his plan is working His masters have now a big foothold… Read more »

Frank62
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Frank62

The civil war in Syria is abominable & it sickens me how the Russians stepped in to prop up Assad. But we too support abominable regimes such as Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen back into the stone age & repressing its own people. I would have liked to see the west step in to curb Assad before we did nothing long enough for Putin to step in to help his ally, but would that have ended any better than Iraq or Lybia? Syria is a much tougher nut than either of these.

maurice10
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maurice10

Trump is a blessing to Russia, his unpredictability is screwing US foreign policy. By the time he leaves office, it will be in tatters. This situation will be a gift aplenty for Russia, and why not exploit this dia state of affairs. Some say if and when Russia moves south with intent, be very much afraid?

antidote
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antidote

There are some fine things being said in this thread. When it comes to war, we have lost our way: Surely in a war all gloves are off and anything goes? It’s not sport, where there are apparently rules (although I think sport is one step from war for some nations). I know we don’t want to kill innocent people, but maybe in the long run a half-assed intervention will actually cause more deaths than full out carpet bombing and going for the win? Easy to say of course sat behind my computer, as would I hell want to be… Read more »