Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’

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Russian troops are fighting alongside pro-Assad forces in Syria, state television in Damascus and several reports have claimed.

The video footage claimed to show troops and a Russian armoured vehicle fighting Syrian rebels alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in Latakia.

It is reportedly possible to hear Russian being spoken by the troops in the footage.

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Russian Naval Intelligence in the Middle East

What was not known was that at the same time, the Russian Navy vessel CCB-201 – one of the Russian Navy’s largest intelligence vessels – was present in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The CCB-201 is no ordinary intelligence vessel, but rather a naval intelligence gathering unit which is similar in its characteristics to Israel’s Unit 8200 – a SIGINT collection and decryption unit capable of intercepting and listening to military transmissions between naval vessels and aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea.

From past experience, it appears that the purpose of the visit to the area is for gathering intelligence on NATO and US force activities, as well as Israel’s readiness with regards to the situation in Syria – where Russia has military interests and assets, and thus is concerned of military intervention. Continue reading