- REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
- A former Russian navy admiral upped the ongoing war of words between the US and Russia.
- Retired Adm. Vladimir Masorin said Russia would sink the USS Donald Cook if it fired on Syria.
- The Cook is in the Mediterranean right now.
A former Russian navy admiral upped the ongoing war of words between the US and Russia on Friday by saying the Russian navy would sink the USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer in the region, if it carries out a strike on Syria.
Here’s what retired Adm. Vladimir Masorin told Russian television:
“It is unlikely that we will have to sink the Donald Cook. Yet, a torpedo is a very effective weapon that causes considerable damage to a vessel. Clearly, we are going to deal with a lot of pressure, but war is a dangerous thing for the Americans in the first place. They live in a completely different world over there, but we have no fear, we are fed up with the Americans, they are like a burr in the saddle.”
Similarly, Syria reportedly promised to defend itself if attacked, though it’s unclear what that means as it has little capability to wage war against the US.
But Russia actually has the means to sink the Cook; it has a considerable naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean, which includes submarines with torpedoes.
And yet the assumption that the Cook would strike Syria – rather than a US submarine firing Tomahawk missiles from a submerged position – can’t be realistically relied upon.
Experts who spoke to Business Insider about the recent military tensions between the US and Syria over Russia have unanimously said that Russia is bluffing and that it doesn’t want a conventional war with the US as it would quickly and soundly lose.
US Navy destroyers have already attacked Syria – in April 2017 – with 59 cruise missiles destroying a handful of Syrian planes. Though Russia protested the strike and made overtures about possible aggressive responses, the strike went largely unpunished.