Syria air strikes: Russia gets back in the fight

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After launching air strikes in Syria, Russia has given a new dimension to fight and destroy militants and terrorists on the territories. It was country's first intervention in the Middle East in decades.

Russia's decision to launch the air strike in Syria has raised the eyebrow of US and its allies. According to them they carried out the strikes in the areas where Islamic State (IS) had little or no presence.

Russia gets back in fight

They instead appeared to be aimed at rebels backed by Gulf Arab and Western states who are advancing on Latakia province - the coastal heartland of President Assad's Alawite sect.

On the other hand, Russia termed western intervention in Syria as an uninvited one. Putin jabbed foreign powers over their actions in Libya and Iraq.

"I cannot help asking those who have forced that situation: Do you realize what you have done?" "We should all remember what our past has taught us," said Putin.

Read More: Russia to intensify Syria airstrikes against IS

Russian decision has also forced western diplomats back to drawing board, knocked off balance by Moscow's whirlwind performance at the United Nations' 70th General Assembly.

President Vladimir Putin opted General Assembly to officially launch his Syrian offensive.

Russia leaders invited world leaders to debate the extremist threat in North Africa and the Middle East at the Security Council on Sept. 30. US Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the initiative and stressed the US and Russia's shared goal in fighting terror.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security affairs at New York University, argues that once the "initial anger and perplexity has worn off," the Americans may see certain value in Russia taking the lead in Syria, especially when "the US is not in any position to do anything about it anyway."

Even if Russian bombs are falling on other rebel targets, at least one in three are falling on the Islamic State," Galeotti told Al-Monitor.

As an enemy of both IS (whose members include Russian citizens from the north Caucasus who might well return home to stage attacks) and opponents of the Bashar al-Assad regime, a longtime ally of Moscow, theRussians are now tasked with weakening both groups simultaneously, while trying to convince the West to join Russia's efforts.

Galeotti believes that the Russians waited until after the Iran nuclear agreement was signed before ramping up their Syria game plan in order not to sabotage the deal for their allies in Tehran. The rest, he says, fell into place.

Some Western diplomats share Galeotti's view that the Russians are welcome to take on Syria.

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