Russia warned about military exercises off the coast of Syria


Russia has warned airlines about naval exercises with missile firing in the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria. This is known based on a notice to pilots (called NOTAM) available in the database of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The document says that exercises of Russian Navy are happening between September 8 and 17, approximately in 70 km from Syrian port of Tartus. That is the only foreign base of Russian Navy.

Notification A1105/15 relates to the air hub LCCC – the airport of Nicosia (the capital of Cyprus). It states that military exercises of Russian fleet is expected in an area with a radius of about 41 km. The center of the training area is located between the coast of Cyprus and Syria, about 70 km west of Tartus.

NOTAM says that test missile firings will be executed during the exercise, so a dangerous fly zone extends from the sea surface to a level 660 (about 20.1 km). In addition, a similar notification A1106/15 reports about similar exercise of Russian Navy in the same area of ​​the Mediterranean Sea from September 30 to October 7.

By the time of publication of the current material The Russian Defense Ministry did not respond to the request for comments. The representative of the Centre of Aeronautical Information (responsible for handling international NOTAM) told RBC that according to an internal order the details of NOTAM can not be disclose to third parties.

In early 2013 Russia held the first (since Soviet times) large-scale fleet exercises off the coast of Syria. It was followed by several more exercises.

The news about the possible naval exercises off the coast of Syria came against the backdrop of growing evidence of more active involvement of Russia in the Syrian conflict. According to Arab and Western media, starting from August deliveries of Russian weapons and military equipment to the Syrian government became more frequent. US media reported that in last few days 3 long-distance military transport aircrafts An-124 arrived at the airport Latakia, and the blog Turkishnavy that tracks the movement of ships through the Bosporus noted more frequent transitions of Russian warships through the Strait into the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, at September 8 the blog reported about the transition of a large amphibious assault ship “Saratov” (of the Black Sea Fleet) loaded with camouflaged machines (see the photo).



Image: Alper Böler