Russia's military attacks are intensifying because ISIS killed Russian civilians in Egypt, and took credit for it.
ISIS purportedly killed people in Paris.
Russian military operations in Syria will be extended and expanded, given such a new scenario. This will include attacking ISIS in Syria from Russia, using her arsenal of long range weapons....cruise missiles and Tu bombers.
Russia defacto has taken the lead in the war against ISIS.
One presumes over time Russia will also attack ISIS in Iraq.
The CIA's ISIS is one and the same, whether it is in Syria or Iraq or Egypt....or Afghanistan.
Russia's Lavrov: U.S. Is Not Seriously Fighting Against The Islamic State
By Moon of AlabamaThroughout the last week the Russian airforce updated its target list in Syria. Plans were prepared, units designated, ammunition was loaded.
Today President Putin announced that the destruction of a Russian airliner with 224 people on board over the Sinai peninsula had indeed been an Islamic State terror attack. Traces of explosives were found on parts of the debris.
The Russian mission in Syria is no longer just to help the Syrian government but is now a matter of Russian national self-defense. The Russian parliament was not shy in assigning guilt:
"The recent tragic developments confirm the topicality of Russia’s continuous warnings that permanent destabilization in the Middle East by those who claim global dominance, primarily the United States, could lead to the expansion of the zone of bloody chaos and entail numerous human tragedies," the document says. "France and other European states are, as a matter of fact, reaping the consequences of Washington’s nearsighted and selfish policy."There will now be no backing out for Russia and no time limit.
At the same time as Putin spoke Russian ships in the Caspian sea, submarines in the Mediterranean and long range strategic strike bombers flying from Russia launched 34 cruise missiles against Islamic State targets in Syria.
The Russian defense ministry announced that it would double its strikes in Syria using 5 TU-160, 6 TU-95MS, 14 TU-22m3. 8 SU-34 and 4 SU-27sm in addition to the 34 airplanes already in Syria. The new assets are long-range and will mostly fly directly from Russia. They will attack the static targets which the Russian and Syrian intelligence will designate. The planes in Syria will now take a more tactical role in direct combat air support for the Syrian army and the allied forces on the ground. The strike capacity will immediately double and it is planned to further increase it.
The French, now bombing IS in retaliation for the attack in Paris, are also adding to their strike capacity by moving their airplane carrier towards the Syrian coast. President Putin personally ordered the Russian ships in the Mediterranean to recognize the French forces as allies. This may be an opening to France and an offer to Hollande to leave his anti-Syrian stance and to stop his support for anti-Syrian insurgents.
After Putin shamed Obama into bombing Islamic State oil truck assemblies his Foreign Minister Lavrov went a step further. He directly accused the U.S. of not being serious about fighting the Islamic State:
"The problem around the U.S.-led coalition is that despite the fact that they declared its goal in fighting exclusively the Islamic State and other terrorists and pledged not to take any action against the Syrian army (...), analysis of the strikes delivered by the United States and its coalition at terrorist positions over the past year drives us to a conclusion that these were selective, I would say sparing, strikes and in the majority of cases spared those Islamic State groups that were capable of pressing the Syrian army," he said.
"It looks like a cat that wants to eat a fish but doesn’t want to wet its feet. They want the Islamic State to weaken Assad as soon as possible to force him to step down this or that way but they don’t want to see Islamic State strong enough to take power."That the U.S. was not seriously fighting the Islamic State was obvious to any observer but it is now a public position stated by Russia and the U.S. will have to react to.
Maybe Lavrov hopes he can goad the U.S. into getting more serious about the Islamic State. With the background of the attacks in Paris and against the Russian plane (more are likely to come) the chances for that are not too bad.
The "isolated" Russia that was never actually isolated is not isolated anymore. The U.S. rhetorical position is now defensive as Russia is taking the lead in the fight against IS. But it still wants to look like its is doing something:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday his country is starting an operation with Turkey to finish securing the northern Syrian border.
"The entire border of northern Syria - 75 percent of it has now been shut off. And we are entering an operation with the Turks to shut off the other remaining 98 kilometers," he said in an interview with CNN.That is not much of a change at all. Crossing the border and smuggling will in future require either a Turkish secret service or CIA permit. A real change in the U.S. position will only come when its stops the support for the various forces fighting against the Syrian government.