Tip of the Iceberg: Russian Use of Power in Syria


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Russians are determined to reacquire some of the status once enjoyed by the Soviet Union of yore. They believe Western carelessness is to blame for the rise of Islamic State, and are using the Syrian theater to demonstrate their strategic capability.


Russia’s status in the Middle East has changed remarkably in recent years. Some go so far as to argue, with some justification, that it has become the most powerful superpower in the region, or at least within the context of the Syrian conflict. The main reason for this has been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to invest significant resources in the region, coupled with his willingness to take significant risk.

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Syria: The Rebellion Begins to Crumble over the past 3 weeks



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Since September 2015 Russian airpower has been supporting the Syrian government has is accused by rebels and aid workers (both local and foreign) of causing most of the civilian casualties of air and artillery attacks. That comes to as many as 9,000 dead rebels and civilians so far. Nearly half of the dead are civilians. Since it began in 2011 the Syrian fighting is believed to have killed at least 400,000 with at least 2,000 dead in September 2016.

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