Russia in Syria: Changing the Power Balances

By Zenonas Tziarras

Back in 2012 it was argued that Syria has become an arena for conflicting regional and international interests. This reality is more salient today than any other time in the past. After reports that Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other countries of the region have mingled in Syria’s conflict through their support to militia groups, we saw the United States using Special Forces for raids into Syria. Not long after that we witnessed Russia moving military forces into Syria, particularly close to the city of Latakia, where a key air base is located, even as reports came out that China will send military advisers to Syria in order to help in the fight against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham). Most importantly, on September 30, Russia launched its first airstrikes against Jihadist groups in Syria.

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