27 August 2013 — RT
UK gathers warplanes, military hardware in Cyprus base near Syria
“Warplanes and military transporters” have reportedly been moved to Britain’s Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus in the latest sign of the allied forces’ preparations for a military strike on Syria amid bellicose rhetoric against the Syrian government.
Two commercial pilots who regularly fly from Larnaca, Cyprus, claim to have spotted C-130 transport planes from their own aircraft and small formations of possibly European fighter jets from their radar screens, according to the Guardian.
Akrotiri airbase is less than 100 miles from Syria, making it a likely hub for a bombing campaign. Residents near the airfield confirmed to the Guardian that “activity there has been much higher than normal over the past 48 hours.”
Furthermore, Downing Street says armed forces are drawing up contingency plans for military action in Syria, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, top military officials from ten Western and Middle Eastern nations – led by US Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and his Jordanian counterpart – met in Amman, Jordan, to discuss potential military action in Syria. This follows reports that Dempsey presented potential military options to the White House over the weekend.
On Friday, Reuters revealed the US Navy was expanding its Mediterranean presence with a fourth ship capable launching long-range, subsonic cruise missiles to reach land targets in Syria.
British military assets already near Syria include four warships, the Navy’s flagship HMS Bulwark, a helicopter carrier and two frigates near Albania. Meanwhile France – another key player in the possible conflict – has its jet fighters stationed in the United Arab Emirates if needed
The Obama administration has little doubt the regime of Assad deployed chemical weapons on the outskirts of Damascus last week, killing hundreds, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.
See also: Turkey possible base for attack on Syria