By Prof Michel Chossudovsky * Global Research
A massive US and allied naval deployment is occurring in the Eastern Mediterranean off Syria’s coastline as well as in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
While this display of military might may not be part of an immediate attack plan on Syria, it is creating an atmosphere of fear and panic within Syria.
The US Navy has deployed the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport ship to the Eastern Mediterranean. The San Antonio is joining five US destroyers which “are already in place for possible missile strikes on Syria, a defense official said Sunday.”
The USS San Antonio, with several helicopters and hundreds of Marines on board, is “on station in the Eastern Mediterranean” but “has received no specific tasking,” said the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. US Navy deploys five warships, one amphibious ship to Mediterranean for Syria
While the USS San Antonio has amphibious landing equipment, which can be used to land some six thousand sailors and marines, “no boots on the ground”, however, remains the official motto.
So why then has the US deployed its most advanced amphibious landing ship? The reports suggest that this is routine and there are no attack plans:
“No amphibious landing is in the works, however, as President Barack Obama has ruled out any “boots on the ground” (Ibid)
USS San Antonio
There are currently five destroyers off the coast of Syria: the USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Graveley, not to mention the San Antonio amphibious landing vessel.
The destroyers are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles which “are ready to fire … if Obama gives the order.”
On 28 August the U.S. Navy announced the deployment of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stout en route to join four other destroyers “amid allegations that the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians on August 21″.
In a not unusual twist, this deployment of US and allied naval forces preceded the chemical weapons attack which is being blamed on president Bashar al Assad.
According to Naval records, the guided missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va. on August 18, 2013, “for deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility” (see image below upon its departure in Norfolk on August 18).
The USS Ramage destroyer left Naval Station Norfolk on August 13 for the Eastern Mediterranean, “to relieve the Mahan”.
Yet in fact what was decided was to deploy all five destroyers along the Syrian coastline. This decision was taken by the Pentagon well in advance of the chemical attacks of August 21, which constitute Obama’s pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds.
The amphibious transport dock San Antonio, carrying elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has joined the five Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a defense official confirmed [August 30].
“No specific tasking has been received at this point,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The San Antonio is being kept in the sea as a prudent decision should ship capabilities be required.”
The five destroyers positioned near Syria are the: Barry, Gravely, Mahan, Ramage and Stout.
The Navy had been operating with three destroyers in the Med, and the Ramage and Stout were expected to replace Mahan and Gravely, respectively, when they arrived there this month. But officials decided to keep all five in place as the U.S. weighs an attack. Each destroyer is capable of carrying up to 90 Tomahawk cruise missiles, although they usually have fewer on hand during deployment. marinecorpstimes.com, August 30, 2013
USS Stout leaving Norfolk on August 18. USS Stout was used as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn in the 2011 US-NATO war on Libya.
This massive naval deployment which also includes strategic submarines was ordered prior to the tragic event of August 21, which begs the question:
If the chemical weapons attack is a justification for intervening, why was the order to launch an R2P “humanitarian” naval operation against Syria decided upon “Prior” to August 21?
Was there advanced knowledge or intelligence regarding the timing and occurrence of the 21 August Chemical Weapons attack?
A strike against Syria in the immediate short-term is unlikely. Obama announced on August 31st that he would seek formal approval of the US Congress, which reconvenes on September 9.
With independent news reports providing firm evidence that the US sponsored Al Qaeda rebels (recruited and trained by Allied Special Forces) have chemical weapons in their possession, this delay does not favor the president’s political credibility.
In providing those chemical weapons to al Qaeda “rebels”, the US-NATO-Israel alliance is in violation of international law, not to mention their own anti-terrorist legislation.
Overtly supporting Al Qaeda has become the “New Normal”.
When the various pieces of evidence are put together, the picture which emerges is that of a covert “flag flag operation” carried out by the US sponsored “rebels” and special forces, intent upon blaming president Bashar Al Assad for killing his own people. As mentioned above, the naval deployment was decided upon ex ante, before the 21 August chemical Weapons attack.
This diabolical false flag attack which consists in killing civilians and blaming the Syrian government constitutes the justification for military intervention on “humanitarian grounds”.
The US and its allies are still in the process of deploying their naval forces off the Syrian coastline.
The Pentagon has confirmed that aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its carrier strike group has moved into the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean, but, according to official statements, “it has not been given orders to be part of the planning for a limited U.S. military strike on Syria”
“The official said the carrier strike group has not been assigned a mission and the move to the Red Sea was a prudent move in case its resources are needed to “maximize available options”.
The other ships in the USS Nimitz strike group are: USS Princeton and three destroyers: USS William P. Lawrence, USS Stockdale and USS Shoup.
continue article at Global Research:
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