What Will the Russians Do in Syria?

(Jerusalem Post) Jonathan Spyer - The arrival of Russian personnel and equipment in Latakia province is intended to bolster the Syrian regime's enclave in the western coastal area as part of a larger effort on the part of the regime and its allies to consolidate control over roughly 20% of Syria. The deployment suggests a limited ground component, with a greater focus on air operations to back beleaguered government forces and relieve pressure on Assad's overstretched air force. Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the pro-Iran and pro-Hizbullah Al-Akhbar newspaper in Lebanon, announced the arrival of the "4+1" alliance. The "4" are Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria, plus Hizbullah. According to Amin, this new alliance is to include the "sending of Russian and Iranian special forces to the areas controlled by...Assad." The Russians will "play a prominent role on the ground and will participate in combat on the battlefield with their advanced weaponry by leading operations and taking part in artillery shelling [and] air raids." The writer is director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

2015-09-25 00:00:00

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