A concerted Russian air campaign would quickly overwhelm the UK

The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy warship, HMS Richmond, is one of the two warships that are being deployed to track Russian aircraft carrier. (File photo)
The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy warship, HMS Richmond, is one of the two warships that are being deployed to track Russian aircraft carrier. (File photo)

The UK’s Royal Navy is sending warships to intercept a Russian aircraft carrier as it is expected to arrive in British waters en route to the coast of Syria, a report says. 

Russia plans to deploy its warship, Admiral Kuznetsov, along with several other military vessels, including a nuclear-powered cruiser, off the coast of Syria, where they are expected to take up position for almost half a year, The Telegraph reported.

There it could use its jets and helicopters to carry out airstrikes against militants in Syria.

The heavily armed aircraft carrier is expected to arrive in British waters as early as next week, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the UK and its NATO allies are preparing a major operation to track Russian warship and its vessels in an operation down through the North Atlantic to the Bay of Biscay and then into the Mediterranean, wrote The Telegraph.

The Times also reported two British warships will be deployed to escort the Russian aircraft carrier past Britain.

British admirals fear that Russia will use the voyage as “an opportunity” to carry out flying drills off the British and French coasts, according toThe Telegraph.

“We are working up what to do and we are all over it,” one NATO naval source told the daily. “The most likely thing is that they will go through the North Sea, down the Dover Strait and through the Channel.”

UK Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Dragon (foreground), escorts Russia’s aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, in the English Channel in 2014. (Photo by EPA)

“They might even stop off the North East coast to fly for a bit,” said the source. “Even if it splits five ways and we can’t man mark them, it doesn’t matter, we have got this covered.”

Last month, The Financial Times reported that the UK would not be able to confront serious military powers, like Russia, according to a document it obtained.

General Richard Barrons, who was head of Britain’s Joint Forces Command, warned the Defense Ministry in a ten-page private memorandum that the country would quickly be overwhelmed by a concerted Russian air campaign, according to the report.

Relations between London and Moscow have been tense over their differences on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Russia has been engaged in an aerial campaign against terrorist groups in Syria upon a request by the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad for more than one year.

The UK, along with the United States and some of their allies, has been conducting a so-called anti-terror campaign in Syria and neighboring Iraq for more than two years.

Russia along with the Syrian forces, have inflicted heavy losses to the Takfiri militants in the Arab country. Their victories concerned the West that has actively been seeking the ouster of President Assad.

However, they have done little to stop the Takfiri terrorists; instead their air raids have killed many civilians, and caused extensive damage to the country’s infrastructure.

Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:32PM

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