WASHINGTON / MOSCOW – In a move to demonstrate Russian influence and strengthen its political and military presence in Syria, the Russian Military Police announced it was sending patrols to the Golan region to support Syrian Baath regime forces stationed along the Bravo Line separating Syria and Israel. A commander of one of the Russian brigades told Russian News Agency TASS that the mission of the Russian policing forces is to monitor the ceasefire, demonstrate Russian military presence, and protect the Russian military.
In related news, commander of the U.S. Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, in a video conference organized by Defense One, declared that the Pentagon’s decision to deploy M2 Bradley armored vehicles in Syria last September, is due to the Russian military presence in the northeast of the country. McKenzie held Russian forces responsible for conducting patrols outside their area of control without coordination with the U.S. side.
Meanwhile, two B-52 strategic bombers of the U.S. Air Force, flew from their bases in the U.S. to the Middle East. Associated Press, quoting Pentagon officials, reported that the two bombers left the Barksdale Air Base in the state of Louisiana on Wednesday, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean and Europe. After that, they flew over the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf, where they made a wide rotation near Qatar, remaining at a safe distance from the Iranian coast and finally flew back to their base.
McKenzie stated that the U.S. mission was to confirm the U.S. commitment to its regional partners and to verify their ability to rapidly deploy fighting forces anywhere in the world. Politico Newspaper reported that this mission comes within the Pentagon’s recent measures to reinforce the U.S. forces in the Middle East, in anticipation of any potential Iranian attacks.