The Russians are coming to Syria, as Ynet is reporting that they are launching plans to fly fighter jets to battle ISIS (ISIL) as the terror group continues to threaten the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Russia has long backed Assad and now plans to send thousands of military personnel into Syria to assist him according to Ynet.
The Russians would join an array of nations battling ISIS, including the US, although unlike the US, the Russians would appear to have the added motive of assisting Assad. Ynet specifically noted that the Russians are not interested in fighting Israel, but that their presence could complicate things for the Israeli air force, which has reportedly struck in Syria multiple times to prevent weapons from reaching terrorists. The news report of Russia’s move comes just days after the American Syria envoy visited Moscow to discuss ISIS and the situation in the war-torn nation.
The US State Department said in a press release that envoy Michael Ratney was in Russia last week to discuss ISIS, supporting the Syrian opposition, and achieving a political transition in Syria. The statement made clear the US view of Assad’s rule, and it doesn’t match Russia’s.
“Assad has proven through his brutal and repressive tactics that he has lost all legitimacy, and he must go as part of a genuine political transition… We are cognizant that Assad’s continued tenure fuels extremism and inflames tensions in the region,” said the statement. “That is why a political transition is not only necessary for the good of the people of Syria, but an important part of the fight to defeat the extremists.”
The view doesn’t appear to have dissuaded Russia from backing Assad with their own military. But with Turkey and a variety of Arab nations already joining the fight with the US in battling ISIS, Russia likely won’t face many complaints about their jets bombing ISIS targets.
From Iran to Jordan, and from the US to Russia, the downfall of ISIS seems to be one of the few things the divergent nations can agree upon.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 31, 2015)