A visit by a US Virginia-class submarine – which fired cruise missiles at Syria last Saturday – provoked wrath in Naples, Italy, whose mayor did not speak words to talk about the submarine’s presence in “the city of peace “free of nuclear weapons.
Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris was particularly incensed to learn that the USS John Warner, a Virginia-class US nuclear submarine, docked at the local port on March 20, about three weeks before the US-led missile attack on Syria, local media reported.
“I would like to reiterate that Resolution 609, adopted on September 23, 2015, declared on my behalf the port of Naples a nuclear-weapon-free area,” Magistris wrote to Rear Admiral Arturo Faraone, commander of Naples port authority, as quoted by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
The mayor said his decree forbade the laying of ships or nuclear ships carrying nuclear weapons in the “city of peace.” He said that the Naples authorities are “respectful of the fundamental rights of all” and “dedicated to disarmament and international cooperation”. Rear Admiral Faraone replied that “the arrival and/or transit of foreign naval units in national territorial waters” is not the responsibility of his cabinet.
The USS John Warren was named by the Pentagon as the one that fired several Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syrian targets last Saturday. The ship was the first Virginia-class submarine to fire missiles at enemy targets, the US Naval Institute (USNI) said, also displaying what appears to be a John Warner footage firing the missiles from a submerged position.
Earlier, John Warner took part in the NATO-led Dynamic Manta 2018 anti-submarine exercise, which went through the first half of March on the Italian coast, La Reppublica newspaper reported. The exercises involved submarines and surface ships from Canada, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States, according to the NATO Allied Maritime Command.
Apparently, the USS John Warner was not the only Western submarine to be present on the shores of Syria before the Saturday missile attacks. A British-class Astute submarine, armed with cruise missiles, was also traversing these waters during the attacks, the British newspaper The Times reported.
The UK vessel was reportedly locked into a “cat-and-mouse” chase by Russian Kilo-class submarines and diesel-electric frigates, the paper wrote, quoting military sources. It was said that the Russians were following the British craft by maneuvering “to put their Tomahawk cruise missiles within the reach of Syrian military targets.”
Although he reportedly spent several days trying to avoid detection during a “tense and dangerous dispute,” the British Royal Navy submarine could not get close to the coast of Syria. “Ultimately, the issue did not arise: the British sub did not participate in the attacks,” the Times said.
Source: Sputnik News