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Posts : 18571
Join date : 2015-05-20
Location : United States

Russia Digging in for Long Haul in Syria

on Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:46 pm
Vladimir Putin wanted to demonstrate all his shiny, new military toys and found that doing that in Ukraine could wind up rather badly, perhaps even kicking off World War III. Instead, he found in Syria a place to demonstrate his new military muscles – much like Hitler in Spain in the 1930s – with the added benefit of keeping alive his nearest and dearest in the Bashar al-Assad regime. When the body bags started coming home from the Donbas in such high numbers, Russian citizens began to notice. The question now is how soon they will notice the costs in blood and rubles (estimated at several billion Russian rubles per week being spent on Syria and support operations) before they lose patience with Mr. Putin’s Syrian adventure.

By Matthew Bodner for Defense News, Dec 14, 2015

MOSCOW — Russia is digging in for the long haul in Syria. Whereas two months ago Russian officials insisted the Kremlin's military adventure in the shattered Arab republic would last no longer than a few months, the Defense Ministry is gradually surging its force strength in the country.

Analysts told Defense News that the gradual expansion of Russia's air contingent reflects that Russia's ultimate goal in Syria — to forestall the demise of President Bashar Assad, or at least his Alawite government — is proving harder to reach than initially anticipated.

“Some kind of enlargement of the Russian contingent was almost inevitable from the beginning, but the pace of enlargement is a matter of interpretation … many experts said that from the beginning it was not enough,” said Ruslan Pukhov, a member of the Defense Ministry's public advisory board.

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