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US May Hit Syria With Ship-Based Tomahawk Missiles - Analyst

© Flickr / Stuart RankinThe USS Lassern launches a Tomahawk missile during an exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.
The USS Lassern launches a Tomahawk missile during an exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. - Sputnik International
The additional deployment of US Aegis-equipped warships in the Mediterranean Region could be considered a precondition for further offensive against Syrian leader Bashar Assad, security analyst Dmitry Efimov told Sputnik Radio.

US soldier uses a pair of binoculars to scans the landscape around his Patriot Missiles based at Al Udeid AB, Qatar - Sputnik International
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The US will send an additional warship equipped with the Aegis combat system to the Mediterranean Sea to protect Turkey and its NATO allies against ballistic missile threats, Anadolu reported.

The redeployment is scheduled to take place this fall, Navy spokeswoman Commodore Pamela Rawe told the agency.

Thus, a total number of US Aegis-equipped ships in the Mediterranean Region will rise to four.

The news came several days after the US announced they will not extend the deployment of their Patriot surface-to-air missile systems in Turkey which expires in October 2015.

The build-up of a US naval presence in the region would help tackle several issues at the same time, Dmitry Efimov, a security expert for the Moscow Parliament, believes.

"The withdrawal of the Patriot systems from service in Turkey would create a precondition to deploy more Aegis-equipped ships. A new missile shield is under construction now. There are different missiles which can be guided by the Aegis. Formally, they protect Europe against, for instance, Russian or Iranian missiles. But the US has both strategic and tactical goals," Efimov told Sputnik Radio.

One of those tactical goals is countering Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, he said.

"It is about Syria. The goal is to provide support for ISIL [the Islamic State terrorist group] to make way to the sea so it could transport stolen by sea. Currently ISIL militants use pipelines. The capabilities of the Aegis would be enough for that operation," the expert hypothesized.

"As for Aegis-equipped ships, each of them has 96 launch sites for missiles. But they can be armed not only with ABM missiles but also with the Tomahawk cruise missile. It is possible the Tomahawk would be used against Assad forces," Efimov concluded.

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