Warship crosses via Suez into Mediterranean , possibly en route to Syrian coast for naval exercises
By Roi Kais
The destroyer could be on its way to the Syrian coast, the Egyptian newspaper reported, adding that the warship is planning to hold naval maneuvers in the area.
Al Shuruk daily further claimed that the canal authority authorized the Chinese ship’s crossing through the canal following permission from the Egyptian armed forces.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Al-Wafd website reported that high security measures were taken during the ship’s crossing of the canal.
Beijing, an ally of Syria, has repeatedly blocked Western-backed Security Council attempts to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the violence sparked by a government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Last month reports claiming that the armies of Iran, China, Russia and Syria are planning to hold naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea were circling the media outlets. According to the report, 90,000 soldiers from the four countries will take part in the large-scale maritime war games, which will be held off the Syrian coastline.
In February, two Iranian naval ships sailed through Egypt’s Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, and according to Iranian reports, the ships docked in Syria.
Just last month, Russia said that it had dispatched a flotilla of 11 warships to the eastern Mediterranean, some of which would dock in Syria.
Moscow’s gesture was the largest display of Russian military power in the region since the Syrian conflict began. Nearly half of the ships were capable of carrying hundreds of marines.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4261923,00.html