Russian-led Advances in Syria

Russian airstrikes have “made a difference” for Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime, strengthening his forces while pushing back rebel gains in western Syria, said the spokesman for the US-led coalition against ISIS. Russian activity has “benefited the Assad regime, and allowed the Assad regime to push back moderate Syrian opposition forces,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, in a Jan. 29 briefing. The largest concentration of activity has happened in the city of Aleppo. Russia and the US have maintained communication to keep aircraft safe in the skies over Syria, though US officials have repeatedly condemned Russian activity for not targeting ISIS and instead bolstering the regime. (See also: Russian Roulette from the December 2015 issue of Air Force Magazine.)