Friday, November 04, 2016

Warning Update: Russia Prepares to Escalate Military Intervention in Syria -ISW

Key Takeaway: Russia is preparing to escalate its military operations in Syria in order to tout its standing as a great power, reinforce its claims to be a credible partner against violent extremism, and reinvigorate domestic support for its continued participation in the Syrian Civil War. Russia has set conditions for a major demonstration of its military might following the completion of the latest in a long series of ‘humanitarian pauses’ in Aleppo City set to end on November 4. Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is expected to arrive off the Syrian Coast in the coming days. The arrival of the Kuznetsov with its accompanying fleet of cruise missile-equipped submarines and frigates signals Russia’s likely intent to conduct a new wave of strikes against strategically significant targets in Syria. The deployment comes amidst a recent opposition offensive to break the pro-regime siege of Aleppo City as well as continued pro-regime gains in the Eastern Ghouta Suburbs of Damascus. Russia will likely exploit opportunities in both Aleppo City and Damascus to highlight its ability to project force against "terrorism" and demonstrate the continued legitimacy of its client regime.

-bth: This would probably explain the recent RT posts highlighting the accidental death of 8 civilians in US led bombings of Mosul. I would view the emphasis on that incident as an indication of RT that Russian government which controls RT has plans for civilian casualties in the coming Aleppo offensive. ISW article is worth a read in full.

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