Russia reportedly moved 11 of its warships, cargo vessels, and submarines from the Syrian port of Tartus on Wednesday, ahead of President Donald Trump’s warning about carrying out a potential strike on the civil war-ravaged country in retaliation for a chemical attack on civilians on Saturday.
An image provided by ImageSat International (ISI) shows that all but one Russian Navy vessel deployed from the Port of Tartus on Wednesday, and indicated they have been “deployed at sea due to possible near-future strikes.”
Only one Kilo-class submarine remains in the Syrian port.
ISI reveals: Disappearance of most of the #Russian #Naval Forces from #Tartus Port, #Syria.
Those missing naval vessels have now been deployed at sea due to possible near-future #strikes. Only one #kilo class submarine remained.#russiannavy #Syriastrikes #foxnews #kilo pic.twitter.com/guRA9w0qqt
— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) April 11, 2018
ISI is an Israel-based satellite company that describes itself as “a professional commercial provider of superior, high-resolution satellite imaging services, obtained through operation of its high-resolution Earth Remote Observation Satellites (EROS A/B), provided to governments and their defense forces for national security and intelligence purposes.”
In 2017, ISI published photos showing “the destruction of several buildings at a purported Iranian military base that was under construction in Syria. The buildings were allegedly hit by an Israeli airstrike last weekend.”
Hours before the departure of the Russian Naval vessels on Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that the missiles “will be coming” and warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that he “shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
An article published in the Russian government news outlet Sputnik said of the images provided by ISI showing Russian warships deploying from Syria’s Port of Tartus, that “it is yet unclear whether the ships — should the photo be true — are heading in the Mediterranean for drills.”
Sputnik also wrote that “Russia’s Defense Ministry has not yet commented on the recently-released satellite imagery of what appears to be Russian warships being deployed to the Mediterranean from the naval facility at Tartus, Syria, with US vessels en route there, too.”
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that the Russian military announced that the Syrian government is now in full control of Douma, the last Syrian rebel-held town on the outskirts of Damascus that was the site of a suspected chemical attack on Saturday, which left dozens of innocent civilians dead.
The Syrian regime has denied carrying out the attack.
Over the past seven years of Syria’s brutal civil war, more than a half million people have been killed.
Since 2013, there have been at least 85 confirmed chemical attacks in Syria:
— Sarah Leah Whitson (@sarahleah1) April 4, 2018
President Donald Trump will decide—with the help of his new National Security Advisor John Bolton, his incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and his Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis—whether he will strike Syria for its egregious crime on humanity.
In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump wrote that an attack on Syria could take place “very soon or not so soon at all,” conveying to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad that the consequences for their actions in Syria would be seen without warning.
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018