Deck-based aircraft of the Russian cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” in the Mediterranean sea, began to make reconnaissance flights over Syrian territory. This was announced on Wednesday, November 9, portal USNI News with reference to the representative of the Pentagon.
According to him, in particular, in the skies over Syria was seen deck-based fighters su-33 and MiG-29K. While Russian military aircraft have not attacked, but, apparently, they become part of a larger group that will be involved in the attack on the Syrian city of Aleppo this week, the source added.
Earlier, on 8 November, a source in the defense Ministry told “Interfax”that the aircraft heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” and the ships of the Navy of the Russian Federation, located in the Mediterranean sea, preparing to strike at militants “in the coming hours”. It was noted that attempts will be applied in the far outskirts of Aleppo, not in residential areas.
Commenting on the report, a Pentagon spokesman said that the United States “know that Russia is preparing for the escalation of the military campaign in Syria.” He also said that Washington is disappointed by these plans of Moscow. “The escalation will complicate the settlement of hostilities in Syria and will cause further doubt on Russia’s commitment to a political solution (to the conflict),” – said the representative of the Pentagon.
Of the ship aircraft carrier group of the Northern fleet began the trip to the Mediterranean sea, 15 Oct. It consists of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser “Pyotr Veliky”, large anti-submarine ships “Severomorsk” and “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” and the ships security. Later they were joined by the frigate “Admiral Grigorovich”. Sources The Sunday Times on 30 October reported that the ship’s band of the Russian Federation joined three Russian submarines, equipped with cruise missiles “Caliber”.
Against this background, repeatedly sounded the assumption that Russia is preparing a massive operation to capture Aleppo, which would involve carrier battle group. In particular, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concernthat the fleet can be used “as a platform for air strikes on Syria.”
31 Oct newspaper the Times, citing intelligence reportedthat Russia is preparing full-scale military offensive on Aleppo, which will begin before November 7 and, according to Russian plans, ought to be completed by mid-January 2017.
From 20 to 22 October in Aleppo acted humanitarian pause. On 23 October, Syrian government forces resumed the offensive South of the city, failing to establish control over the important heights and objects. Meanwhile, Moscow continues formally to respect the ceasefire. The General staff of the armed forces, on 28 October, addressed to Putin asking to resume air strikes against militants in Eastern Aleppo, noting that the Syrian opposition, taking advantage of the lull, went on the offensive. However, Putin decided the resumption of air strikes impractical. November 4, Putin instructed to enter a new one-day humanitarian pause in Aleppo.