ultron wrote:Personally, I don't have much hope of Russia conducting air strikes in Syria. Russia is no western country, no middle eastern country. Bombing in another country is simply not Russia's style. Since when has Russia ever carried out an air strike in another country? Never. Not even in Donbas when the coup regime shelled cities and killed thousands of civilians. I think tomorrow Putin will discuss having Assad resign and start a transitioning process in exchange for the west to drop some of the sanctions on Russia.
Those planes are there for a reason. And even if they do not fly any sorties, their sheer presence has already had major influence on the geopolitical front.
Russia decided to establish stable foothold in the Mediterranean and they will want to clear out the scum from the vicinity of their new bases (for now Tartus and Latakia).
They do not need to clear out all of Syria but they can "process" the best part of it (coastline and habitable zones) no problem.
Rest of it is useless desert anyway... FSA and "democratic" opposition can shack up there.
My guess is that Palmyra will be first order of business and the asshat who wrote this Uncle Sam fluffing tripe seems to agree: "What’s Putin up to in Syria? I would wager he’s after something big – retaking Palmyra"
Lifting the siege of that air base (forgot the name) would be next on the menu, or maybe it would be done simultaneously.
Another article:"Syria Crisis: Russia puts troops on the ground in the fight against Isis. Palmyra may be the first Islamist target to be attacked"
..................Russian fighter pilots are being given the task of taking part in military operations in Syria, as it would take too long to train the country’s own pilots to fly the advanced fighter-bombers now arriving. But Russian troops will not be involved, except in an emergency, in any ground operations, sources say.............