Russia Sees US Building Up for Possible Syria Strike

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The ship is armed with 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles, exactly what the USA used in their last two attacks on Syria.

"Russian Federation would want us to pay for it but Syria under Assad is not safe", said one European Union official.

At the same time, there have been reports that Assad's forces may be planning to use chemical weapons to flush out the rebels from Idlib and sow panic among the region's civilian population, as they have done in other major Syrian government offensives.

"We are obviously concerned about the possibility that Assad may use chemical weapons again".

"Using chemical weapons terrorizes civilians, so raising fear serves one objective".

Bloomberg News reported last week that USA intelligence agencies believe they have evidence that Assad is planning a chemical attack, which if it occurs would fall into a pattern of Assad allegedly using such weapons to both terrorize his rebel opponents and prompt civilians to flee the area under siege.

Worldwide investigators have found that Syria's government, backed by Moscow, has carried out dozens of deadly chemical attacks on its civilians.

A statement from Russia's Defense Ministry on Sunday said two frigates were heading to the Mediterranean Sea.

But Russia's massive navy buildup in Syria can't actually stop the USA from striking Syria in response to the Syrian government's chemical attacks, as it has twice in the past two years.

More than 1,000 Iranians, including senior members of the elite Revolutionary Guards, have been killed in Syria since 2012.

The Syrian government is gearing up for an expected offensive in Idlib province, which is home to almost 3 million people and has a large al-Qaida presence in addition to Syrian rebel groups.

Moscow's accusations came after US President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said Washington will respond "very strongly" if Syrian regime forces used chemical weapons to retake Idlib.

Russian Federation and Syria have repeatedly blamed past chemical attacks that have killed dozens of civilians in Syria on rebel groups, in several cases despite evidence that the chemicals were delivered by aerial bombs that the rebels do not have in their arsenals.

So instead of an epic naval and aerial clash, expect Russian Federation to stick to its real weapon fo modern war: Propaganda.