After Russia sent in its elite military unit Spetsnaz to take out the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists, a report has now claimed that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) is about to join forces in Syria.
Citing a well-placed Syrian official Express.co.uk reported that China will be joining the Russians in the coming weeks, while some other reports claimed that the Chinese have already joined the operation.
According to WND, even as the Russian vessels launched precision-guided cruise missiles on 7 October at rebel positions from the Caspian, a "Chinese naval vessel continued to loom menacingly in the background, maintaining its presence in the Mediterranean Sea amid Chinese denials that the People's Liberation Army will enter the Syrian conflict."
Recently, the Russian media -- citing Igor Morozov, a member of the Russian Federation Committee on International Affairs -- had reported that Chinese aircraft carrier Lianoning and a guided missile cruiser were heading towards Syria.
"It is known that China has joined our military operation in Syria. The Chinese cruiser has already entered the Mediterranean, followed by its aircraft carrier," Morozov had said.
A report in the New York-based Headlines & Global News citing Israeli military officials also confirmed that that Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16 is docked at Tartus, a Syrian port, along with one of their guided missile cruisers.
China along with Russia has remained the closest ally of Syria. In fact, had it not been for China, the United Nations would have sent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
A Middle East-based defence official however maintained that the Chinese are several "hours" from the Syrian coast. He said that PLA will not intervene until the Syrian regime requests.