Turkey closes the Bosphorus Straits to Russian warships in order to prevent them from continuing to resupply the Syrian regime’s military, according to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
The possible blocking of the Russian warships would halt the country’s large-scale supply of weapons and aerial power to the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, which has been conducted throughout the Syrian civil war and Assad’s ongoing campaign to retake the north-western Idlib province.
Turkey had prevented four Russian military aircraft from entering into Syria, stopping them from delivering supplies of military vehicles, tanks, missile launchers, heavy artillery and anti-armour missiles, in addition to shipments of bombs to be used by two bombers which were part of the Russian air convoy.
Russia and Turkey have been plunged into their worst crisis since the Cold War over Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet on its border with Syria on November 24 2015— sparking fury and economic sanctions from the Kremlin.
Recently, Turkey bought S-400 missile defense system from Russian Rostec, dissatisfied with the performance of the S-400, Turkey accused Russia of fruad. Negotiation between Turkey and Russia fell apart as Russia refused to transfer S-400 technology to Turkey.
One week ago, Russian military expert Sergey Ishchenko commented on the prediction, warning that Turkey could do so to hinder the “functioning of Russian military bases in Khmeimim and Tartus” on the coast of western Syria. He also predicted that Turkey may even restrict Russian warplanes from flying through its airspace.
“It is only necessary for the Turks, at least for a while, to block the Black Sea passage for our ships. Then, the regular operation of the so-called ‘Syrian Express’ will be disrupted,” said Ishchenko, referring to the passage that the Russian ships usually take to provide supplies to Syria and its military.
He emphasised, however, that “Nevertheless, the Syrian Army has enough armor to deter even powerful militant attacks, and retaliatory air strikes will certainly lead to strikes on Turkish checkpoints.”
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