20:04 GMT +323 September 2018
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    A Russian-built, Kilo-class diesel submarine recently purchased by Iran, is towed by a support vessel in this photograph taken in the central Mediterranean Sea

    Russian Stealth Hunters Reportedly Chased UK Sub Ahead of Syria Strikes

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    Russia’s stealth Kilo-class attack submarines operate extremely quietly and are nicknamed “Black Holes” by Western military experts.

    A pair of such “Black Hole” hunter-killer subs, supported by a couple of frigates and an anti-submarine aircraft, reportedly went after a British Astute-class submarine off the Syrian coast this week ahead of Saturday’s US, British and French airstrikes in response to ab alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces.

    The Russian Kilo-class submarines tracked the British vessel, armed with Tomahawk missiles, which had moved within firing distance of Syria, The Sunday Times reported.

    Project 877 diesel-electric submarine Vladikavkaz
    © Photo : press-service of the Russian Defense Ministry
    The Russian Defense Ministry hasn't yet commented on the issue.

    The “cat-and-mouse” game battle continued for several days. The US Navy sent out a Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft to the area to track the Russian boats and protect its British ally.

    The Kilo-class Russian submarines, which carry an impressive arsenal of torpedoes, as well as cruise and anti-ship missiles, are considered by British military experts as a “considerable threat.”

    In comparison, the Astute-class British submarines have limited firepower and can carrying around 20 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

    According to The Sunday Times, even though Russian and UK submarines have repeatedly been stalking each other in the Mediterranean, the latest incident is the first such underwater clash as tensions between Moscow and London have reached a boiling point. 

    READ MORE: UK's Johnson Backs Government's Decision to Strike Syria With No Parl't Approval

    The situation in and around Syria worsened significantly last week amid reports about the April 7 alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

    The EU and the US were quick to blame the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, with Damascus refuting the allegations. Moscow has called for a thorough investigation into the alleged chemical attack before jumping to conclusions.

    Related:

    Silent Runner: Russian Kilo Class Sub is Back in Action
    UK Prime Minister May Calls Missile Strike Against Syria 'Right, Legal'
    Tags:
    Syria conflict, UK submarine, Russian submarines, chase, British Royal Navy, Russian Navy, Syria
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