The cruisers of the navy find themselves at sea to work face to face and dozens of warships of all sides cross the international waters of the Mediterranean.

Ships from a wide range of countries have strengthened their presence in the Mediterranean over the past months, partly as a result of the ongoing Syrian civil war. The ships stick for the moment to maintain civilities and mutual respect, but sometimes the encounters border on the catastrophe.

Last week, a Turkish warship approached an Israeli naval missile in the international waters of the Mediterranean, a few kilometers away from the Israeli coast. Despite the tensions between countries, the position taken in such situations is generally to combine “respect and mistrust”. The sailors already had a clear view of their counterparts when suddenly the Turkish ship took a position that could easily have been interpreted as threatening. However, after a few minutes of tense radio silence, the Turks continued their way, and friction was avoided.

Sailors on these missile-loaded warships have become accustomed to such events. Over the past few months, they have faced a growing number of dozens of warships on their screens, including destroyers and aircraft carriers of the world’s military powers, sailing along the shores of Lebanon and Of Syria. This strengthening of their positions in these mediteranean waters is the result of the increasing involvement of Russia and the United States in the Syrian civil war.

The increased presence of Israeli warships among these American, Russian, French, Turkish, British, Italian and Greek warships is intentional. A lack of presence in these crucial times, in an area that is of strategic importance to Israel, would make it much harder to later require force.

“Over the past year and a half, we have begun to regain a major role with our navy, which have existed since the 19th century, ‘The Gun Boat Diplomacy’. (Diplomacy of the destroyer) We navigate these areas to preserve our freedom of navigation, “said a senior naval officer in Ynet.

“You have to make it clear that you are there, there is no violent altercation, but we have witnessed some threatening maneuvers between the Turks and the Russians, for example, and radio talk, which is generally polite, Also sometimes impolite … In the region, there are many power struggles, which aim to show who is the boss. ” 

Almost all countries that send their ships to the Mediterranean backyard near Israel use maritime diplomacy to transmit messages, sometimes aggressive, to other countries. The method: intimidation to impose its law on ships at sea; It is a matter of firing near other ships or blackmailing their route.

“Not an hour without the International Regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea is put to the test,” said the officer of the navy. As far as the Israeli navy is concerned, it is not only a matter of showing its presence, but there are other missions no less important, such as the collection of information.

Thus, the Syrian civil war and the Houthi rebellion in Yemen, combined with renewed tensions between Tehran and Washington, have resulted in a very tumultuous maritime arena, not only in the Mediterranean. Indeed, a week ago, US President Donald Trump sent an American destroyer to anchor in the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb near the coast of Yemen where the Houthis reign supreme, making the area the playground Private sector of Iranian industry.

 Yoav Zitun | Posted: 15.02.17, 22:15