THE RUS­SIAN BEAR LUM­BERS INTO SYRIA

Qatar Today - - HOW THE WORLD CHANGED FOREVER IN 2015 -

As the Syr­ian Civil War ground to a stale­mate this year, one ma­jor player who had hith­erto been pulling strings from the back­ground, took cen­tre stage in a sud­den and dra­matic fash­ion. At the re­quest of the As­sad regime, Rus­sian war­planes started bomb­ing “ter­ror­ist tar­gets” since Septem­ber 30, pri­mar­ily in North­west­ern Syria. Crit­ics have ac­cused Rus­sia of tar­get­ing op­po­si­tion fight­ers and help­ing strengthen Pres­i­dent Bashar Al As­sad's hand in the war un­der the pre­text of fight­ing the Is­lamic State.

Rus­sian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber tak­ing off from the Hmeimim air­base in the Syr­ian prov­ince of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXAN­DER KOTS

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