“It’s one thing to shoot down a Tomahawk” — a cruise missile used by the US Navy — “but another thing to shoot down a ship it came from,” Bohl said, adding that the movement of Russia’s navy was most likely a “way to try to raise the stakes for the Americans to pressure Trump to scale down whatever strike is coming.”

Essentially, Russia may be trying to look tough by sailing out its navy.

“There’s very little they can do from a conventional standpoint,” Bohl said. Once the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group arrives, “the US will be able to clean up the eastern Mediterranean in a conventional fight any day.”