According to Fox News, Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s military to expand its operation in Syria.
Russia’s carbon footprint in Syria now includes four forward-operating bases, now that a second airbase is being established in Shayrat. The new airbase in Shayrat can support Russia’s fixed-wing aircraft fleet. The use of fixed winged aircraft will greatly expand Russia’s ability to strike targets throughout the country. Those targets are al Qaeda, ISIS, and other militant groups that Putin calls paid mercenaries hired to destroy the Bashar al-Assad regime with which Russia is allied.
Russia adding 2nd airbase in Syria, pursuing ‘expansion’ in military campaign https://t.co/uCFrElDPkN
— John Weaver GOP (@johnweavergop) December 1, 2015
Many Americans may find themselves scratching their heads with confusion when they read who it is Russia is actually fighting, because, at last check, those were the same groups that the U.S. was fighting. That is with one exception: the U.S. has been arming, funding, and giving military aid to those “moderate rebels,” the same group that Putin calls “mercenaries.”
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President Obama’s determination to oust Assad stands now in direct conflict with Russia’s firm commitment to defend Assad and Syria against the terrorist organizations and mercenaries attempting to overthrow Assad’s government.
— Ryan Tewell (@ryan_tewell) December 1, 2015
Adding to the conflict is the fact that Turkey, a NATO member and U.S. ally, shot down a Russian fighter jet last week. That action by Turkey incensed Putin, who appears to be, now more than ever, resolved to ending terrorism in Syria. Obama views the conflict as a concerted effort to oust a brutal dictator, Assad. The view of the Russians is that the U.S. is sponsoring terrorism by arming the supposed moderate rebels.
Remaining quiet for the moment is China, which is engaged in a waiting game. Obama is still hopeful that Putin will come over to his side and help with the removal of Assad. For the moment, neither leader is willing to budge, as the world’s military forces congregate in the Middle East.
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