Russia on Saturday sent a warship armed with cruise missiles to join its battlegroup off the Syrian coast.
The step comes as part of Russia’s response to the US cruise missile strikes on the Syrian regime’s airbase of Shayrat in Homs province.
The frigate Admiral Grigorovich, reached the group of at least six warships off the coast of Syria, Russia state media reported.
The warship carried Kalibr cruise missiles, the Russian equivalent to the US Tomahawk missiles fired at Shayrat, and has previously fired them at targets in the war-torn country, according to reports.
“There’s a bad scenario with this flexing of muscles,” Fyodor Lukyanov, a leading foreign policy analyst in Moscow, told The Guardian on Saturday.
“The danger of a clash between the US and Russia in Syria is not pleasant, and it could have bad consequences.”
“But there’s also a positive scenario. For Trump, discussion with Russia about co-operation in Syria was impossible before because it was a discussion from a position of weakness,” Lukyanov said.
“Now we can say that America has shown its abilities, has returned to the picture, and the conversation won’t be one-sided, neither side will dominate, and this creates possibilities and preconditions for dialogue.”
Also, Putin’s spokesman said that the Russian president viewed the strikes as “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law, and under a false pretext”, but the rebuke seemed a bit rote and lacking in vinegar.
Russian troops, that support Assad regime in Syria, had been evacuated from the Shayrat airbase after the US reportedly warned Russia about its attack.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry cancelled a “deconfliction” agreement, designed to prevent mid-air collisions, under which the US and Russia informed each other about their military operations.
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