Vladimir Putin is a lying liar who lies, lies big, lies emphatically, lies repeatedly, lies shamelessly about life-and-death issues.
He is not in Syria to fight ISIS. He is in Syria to prop up the brutal al-Assad regime that has murdered 300,000 of his countrymen. Syria has a sizable Shia population with significant ties to Iran. Of course, Russia is a great ally with Iran. Russia has a plan and it is not a good one for world peace.
Doing exactly what we expected.
“Russia launched airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, catching U.S. and Western officials off guard and drawing new condemnation as evidence suggested Moscow wasn’t targeting extremist group Islamic State, but rather other opponents of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. One of the airstrikes hit an area primarily held by rebels backed by the Central Intelligence Agency and allied spy services, U.S. officials said, catapulting the Syrian crisis to a new level of danger and uncertainty. Moscow’s entry means the world’s most powerful militaries—including the U.S., Britain and France—now are flying uncoordinated combat missions, heightening the risk of conflict in the skies over Syria. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Russia’s approach to the Syrian war—defending Mr. Assad while ostensibly targeting extremists—was tantamount to “pouring gasoline on the fire.” Source: WSJ
The Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria.
“Blindsided by the unexpected swiftness of Russia’s air attacks in Syria, the Obama administration scrambled Wednesday to retake the diplomatic and military initiatives, saying that it would not be bullied into supporting President Bashar al-Assad and that it was about to significantly expand its own Syrian air operations.
“After spending much of the day together here behind closed doors, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said in terse evening statements that U.S. and Russian military officials would meet, perhaps as soon as Thursday, to “deconflict” their operations in Syria. Standing side by side outside the U.N. Security Council chamber, they said they had reached some preliminary agreements on a way forward toward a negotiated political solution to Syria’s civil war but indicated they were far from agreed on its outcome. They took no questions. “We have a lot of work to do, understanding fully how urgent this is,” Kerry said.” Source: Washington Post
Meanwhile, Iran gets into the game.
“Hundreds of Iranian troops arrived in Syria 10 days ago with weapons to take part in ground operations in rebel-held areas of northern Syria, and Lebanon’s ally Hezbollah is preparing to join the operation, Lebanese sources told Reuters on Thursday. “The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies,” said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict. “It is possible that the coming land operations will be focused in the Idlib and Hama countryside,” the source added. The two sources said the operation would be aimed at recapturing territory lost by President Bashar al-Assad’s government to rebels.” Source: Al Arabia News