The ongoing conflict in Syria took a turn Tuesday when a Turkish Lockheed Martin F-16 reportedly shot down a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer fighter-bomber. The Fencer’s large weapon-payload capacity has made it a favorite for Russian forces supporting their ally Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The aircraft lost today reportedly was bombing targets near the Turkish border. Read More
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee the United States has shifted its emphasis from training forces outside of Syria to return to fight Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) to one of identifying “capable and motivated” leaders inside the country who put defeating the extremists ahead of removing Bashar al-Assad from power in Damascus. Read More
Russia is having its Desert Storm moment in Syria. The near-daily release of Russian fighter cockpit videos and missiles being launched from Russian ships in the Caspian Sea is making millions of Russians feel proud and strong. For instance, on Oct. 21, Russian media reported that 53 strike sorties struck 72 “terrorist targets.” Oddly those same reports are even convincing some in the United States that Russia is somehow more effective in Syria than the United States and its allies. Read More
Several Russian warships are bound for the Eastern Mediterranean for high-end exercises, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence. Read More
The start of U.S. airstrikes in Syria early Tuesday morning local time marks a major expansion of the air campaign begun in northern Iraq to target the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). Read More
The Navy is extending a deployment of an Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer in the Eastern Mediterranean amidst a United Nation’s inspection into allegations that the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in the conflict, according to several press reports. Read More
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a vocal advocate for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, is right about at least one thing—a victory for President Bashar al-Assad is a victory for his allies in Iran.
McCain is wrong on many other accounts, most notably the assumption that a more favorable outcome can be achieved if the United States plays a more heavy-handed role in the conflict: history shows that to be false. Read More