Russia in Syria Monitor

Details of Russia’s military campaign in Syria:

  • The Russian military denied claims on Sept. 17 that it struck a U.S.-backed force near the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, wounding six fighters. The U.S. Pentagon on Sept. 16 said Russian jets bombed a target where it knew U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition advisers were located. (AP, 09.17.17, Reuters, 09.16.17)
  • The Syrian army has cut Islamic State’s main supply line in the city of Deir el-Zour after taking control of the al-Jafra district. The army pushed into the city this month with the help of Russian air power. (Reuters, 09.17.17, Reuters, 09.17.17 )
  • “All the conditions are in place for the final stage of defeating ISIS in Syria,” said Russian Lt Gen Alexander Lapin during a visit to the Syrian town of Okeirbat. (The Guardian, 09.16.17)

Analysis:

  • Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, writes: “Beyond validating Russia as a global power, the Russian calculation is that a return to playing a more active role in Middle Eastern affairs can create demand for Russian goods and services, starting with arms and nuclear power plants, and particularly technologies that the United States does not want to provide.” (The National Interest, 09.13.17)

Other important news:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is working on what sounds to Israelis like science fiction but in Moscow makes perfect sense—a deal on the power structure in Syria that both Israel and Iran can live with. (Haaretz, 09.19.17)
  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have met in New York, with Ukraine and Syria key topics of discussion. (RFE/RL, 09.18.18)
  • The U.S. military has recently closed the Zakaf outpost in southern Syria, effectively ceding the ground to Iranian-backed militias. (The Washington Post, 09.19.17)
  • Insurgents led by an al-Qaida-linked group launched one of their widest offensives yet Sept. 19 against Syrian pro-government forces south of Idlib. (AP, 09.19.17)
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