Satellite Photos Suggest Russia Sent Trained Dolphins To War In Syria

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Satellite Photos Suggest Russia Sent Trained Dolphins To War In Syria.

The Russian Navy’s marine mammal projects gained worldwide attention when a tame Beluga whale turned up in Norway in April 2019. That whale, nicknamed Hvaldimir, is believed to have escaped from a Russian Navy training program. There is another deployment of marine mammals that you probably haven’t heard about however. And this time to a war zone.

Now evidence has emerged that the Russian Navy sent trained dolphins to support its war in Syria, deploying them to the naval base at Tartus in late 2018.

I came across marine mammal pens in the water when viewing satellite imagery of Tartus. This is the port where Russia bases its submarines deployed to the war in Syria. Having seen similar enclosures at Russian Navy bases in the Black Sea and Arctic, it is clear what they are. The deployment is visible in historical satellite imagery, for example Google Earth, at 34°54’35.16″N, 35°51’46.46″E. I’ll provide the coordinates of each location so that you can explore for yourself.

The dolphins would likely be used to counter enemy divers who might try to sabotage ships in the port. The marine mammals might also be used to retrieve objects from the sea floor or to perform intelligence missions.

The dolphins in Syria likely come from a unit based near Sevastopol, Crimea, in the Black Sea. This base is at 44°34’53.12″N, 33°24’8.36″E. There is a possibility that the mammals involved were seals instead of dolphins, but I believe dolphins to be more likely. The enclosures appear smaller than some others used, however, suggesting their temporary nature.

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