North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the western military alliance of American and European nations has accused Russia of staging a massive naval build-up in the Mediterranean Sea off Syria. NATO confirmed Russia’s escalation near Syria and has called for restraint. NATO stated on Tuesday that all the stakeholders in the region must ensure that the already miserable situation in Syria is not worsened.
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As reported by Haaretz, the NATO spokesperson expressed severe concerns over Russia’s naval escalation in the region. The spokesperson further added that the Russian Navy has deployed ships equipped with cruise missiles into the Mediterranean Sea. Russian media too described this deployment as the biggest ever naval deployment by Moscow ever since Russia stepped into the Syrian conflict in 2015. This move is being seen as a part of the Syrian government’s plans to attack Idlib which is the last major region held by rebels. Russia being an ally of Bashar-al-Assad is expected to help the Syrian government in this assault and that could be the reason behind this reinforcement.
The official further added that the NATO nations which border the Mediterranean Sea are constantly keeping an eye on Russia’s activities in the region. Syria has become the latest battleground for the US-Russia rivalry which further pours into a NATO-Russia rivalry. While the US is looking to topple the government in Syria, Russia is extending support to the Assad government.
Before this Russia had accused the US of planning a fake chemical attack to provoke air strikes on Idlib. Russia claimed that the US might use foreign-sponsored militants for a pretentious chemical attack using chlorine missiles so that the US can find a reason to conduct fresh air raids on the Idlib province of Syria. Russia also alleged that the US has deployed warships with cruise missiles into the Mediterranean Sea off Syria.
NATO called for a restraint on the actions of Moscow to not let things in Syria shape for the worst.