ANALYSIS: RUSSIA GAMBLES IN SYRIA, RAMPING UP INVOLVEMENT

russia drill

BEIRUT (AP) – In ramping up its military involvement in Syria’s civil war, Russia appears to be betting that the West, horrified by the Islamic State group’s spread and an escalating migrants crisis, may be willing to quietly tolerate President Bashar Assad for a while, perhaps as part of a transition. The logic is that prioritizing the fight with the jihadis means accepting Assad as the less bad option despite his own brutal acts, and might produce a more effective and coordinated fight in the air and on the ground.

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