As the US and NATO continue to assemble the largest military presence in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War, a US Navy admiral has gone on a promotional campaign, warning of an “advanced Russian submarine force” stalking the waters of the Atlantic.
In October 2014, authorities in Sweden claimed that a grainy photograph appeared to show a Russian submarine patrolling the Swedish coast. After much fanfare and handwringing, the claims were debunked.
"It was not a submarine," Ola Truedsson, commander of the naval division of Sweden’s armed forces said in a statement released in 2015. "We are doing this to clarify what was perceived to be a submarine in a photograph, but what we know with certainty was a civilian working ship."
"Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict."
For Foggo, this is proof that Moscow’s primary interest is in militarily threatening the West.
"Not only have Russia’s actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners."
In particular, the naval spokesman is concerned with the Russian Navy’s superior stealth capabilities.
"These are the platforms that are the most challenging for us to deal with because of their inherent stealth," he said.
Four illegal oil production facilities controlled by the terrorist group Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State, have been destroyed by Russian fighter jets.
Russian Su-34s have carried out a series of airstrikes against terrorist oil operations in Syria throughout the week. On Wednesday, jets took out a facilities in al-Hasakah Province. Strikes were carried out on installations near Raqqa on Tuesday, as well.
Raqqa is the self-proclaimed capital of Daesh, and believed to be a major waypoint for illegal oil making its way into Turkey.
Washington has asked Moscow not to conduct airstrikes against al-Nusra Front, which is Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, for fear that members of the “moderate opposition” could also be hit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reported.
“They [the US] are telling us not to hit it [al-Nusra Front], because there are also ‘normal’ opposition groups [on those territories],” Lavrov said in an interview with local Russian media that was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.
The minister also stressed that “such opposition groups should leave terrorist positions,” adding that “we have long agreed on that.” Russia first set a deadline for the “moderate” opposition to leave territories occupied by al-Nusra Front extremists, but then agreed to give them more time to withdraw.
In the interview, Lavrov said that Russia believes that taking specific and more effective measures to fight the Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups should be the top priority for Russia and the US if the Syrian crisis is to be resolved.
[Watch the videos, especially the second one. They speak for themselves]
Signs proclaimed the tunnel was “on track to the future”. If the ceremony is any indication, the future is a scary place.