French military ‘ready’ for action against Syria – Russia redeploys naval vessels in Mediterranean

Thursday, August 29, 2013
By Paul Martin

TheExtinctionProtocol.com
August 29, 2013

FRANCE – The French military is ready to commit forces to an operation in Syria if President Francois Hollande decides to do so, the defense minister said Thursday. But the chief of state, who met with the head of the Syrian opposition, stopped short of announcing military intervention over a suspected chemical weapons attack. Hollande offered his political and humanitarian support for the Western-backed Syrian National Council, but said the group will only be a viable alternative to Syrian President Bashar Assad if it has military credibility — and if the international community can stop the spiral of violence. The United States, France and Britain are believed to be preparing possible military action against Assad’s regime after an apparent poison gas attack in Syria on Aug. 21. U.N. experts are currently in Syria investigating the attack. “The Armed Forces are in a position to respond to the requests and the decisions of the president once he reaches that point” of committing French forces to an international intervention in Syria, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. Hollande does not need French parliamentary approval to launch any military action that lasts less than four months. Hollande, who has spoken out strongly against Assad’s government, on Thursday stressed the importance of a political solution and making the Syrian opposition a stronger alternative, notably with increased firepower. Hollande said he told Syrian opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba that “France will offer all its help. Its political help, its support, as it we have for months. But also its humanitarian, material aid.” “Everything must be done to reach a political solution, but that will not happen unless the coalition is capable of appearing as an alternative, with necessary force, notably its army,” Hollande said. “We will only achieve this if the international community is capable of bringing a stop to this escalation of violence, of which the chemical massacre is just one illustration.” French military officials would not comment on reports Thursday that a French frigate has left southern France toward Syria to take part in an eventual military operation. France has a dozen cruise missile-capable fighter aircraft at military bases in the United Arab Emirates and the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. France’s military was at the forefront of the NATO-led attacks on Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, and led an intervention against extremists in Mali earlier this year. -ABC

Russia redeploys fleet in Mediterranean Sea: The redeployment of Russian Naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea is part of a planned rotation and is not linked with the worsening situation in Syria, a Russian Naval spokesperson said Thursday. The statement comes after media reports had suggested that the grouping of Russian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea was to be changed in direct connection with events in Syria. Admiral Viktor Chirkov, commander of the Russian Navy, told Zvezda TV channel Sunday that Russia “should have five or six vessels permanently deployed in the Mediterranean,” but did not say how many were already there. “The vessels in the Mediterranean, like those in other parts of the world, act under plans by the Russian Naval Command and General Staff, and fulfil tasks set,” the Naval spokesperson said. “On completion of these tasks, the vessels then either return to their bases, or are replaced by other vessels to complete the tasks set,” the spokesperson said, adding “This does not amount to a renewal of any grouping or groupings, it is a planned rotation.” The spokesperson for the Russian Navy did not share any further details with RIA Novosti regarding the ships involved, and said Navy General Staff decides what class of vessel to send. –RIA

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