Consider American influence in the Middle East 90% gone. The Saudi’s no longer trust America to follow through on its commitments to the region and have instead turned to Russia and Israel. Both Egypt and Libyia were overturned by the Obama administration and likely won’t see normalcy for quite some time. Syria and Iran can now go largely unchecked in the region as America retreats and leaves Israel out in the cold.
Moscow’s request for a naval base in Egypt submitted last week by a visiting Russian general prompted US Secretary of State John Kerry’s decision to hurry up and visit Cairo and Riyadh for an attempt to smooth their prickly relations over Washington’s policies for Syria and Iran. However, Sunday, Nov. 3, the day he stopped over in Cairo en route for Riyadh, saw a mighty buildup of Russian naval stgrength in the Mediterranean.
Russia’s Pacific Fleet flagship, the Varyag,and the powerful nuclear-fueled battleship Pyotr Veliky arrived to carry out “a number of tasks” with other Russian Navy ships in the region, according to the official statement form Moscow.
The Russian fleet has moved into the vacuum left by the withdrawal of US warships which followed President Barack Obama’s decision not to attack Syria’s chemical weapons. It has established the largest Russian presence ever in the Mediterranean with the strongest firepower of any other force in the eastern and central stretches of this water. Russian warships are now present opposite Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, the Suez Canal and Libya.
Moscow’s request for a naval base to serve this fleet hovered in the background of John Kerry’s conversation with Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal Monday, Nov 4. His departure from Cairo was dogged by rumors of an impending visit to Egypt by President Vladimir Putin.
As debkafile reported earlier, Saudi Arabia engineered the Russian-Egyptian rapprochement with a view to bringing Russian military advisers back to Egypt for the first time since they were thrown out in 1972. Moscow was designated as major arms supplier to the Egyptian army in lieu of Washington.
debkafile’s wouds reveal the four locations Moscow has chosen for port facilities to accommodate its war fleet:
— Alexandria. A dock or berth in the big port of Alexandria and the use of a group of port warehouses to be developed into naval facilities of the sort Russia built in the Syrian port of Tartus. Moscow did not indicate plans to quit Tartus, but the urgency of its request to Cairo suggested its desire for an alternative Mediterranean base in case it had to leave Syria in haste. In any case, Tartus has only been partly operational in recent months.
— Damietta. This port is located on the western tributary of the Nile, 15 km from the Mediterranean Sea and 70 km from Port Said.
— Port Said at the northern terminus of the Suez Canal.
— Rosetta (Rasid) in the Nile Delta, 65 km east of Alexandria.
Full article: As Kerry met Egyptian and Saudi leaders, planning advanced for a Russian naval base in Egypt (DEBKAfile)