Moscow’s escalating militancy in Syria comes not because of careful strategic decisions but rather because Russian President Vladimir Putin is “winging it,”Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN Thursday in an exclusive interview.
Clapper said Putin was “very impulsive and opportunistic” as he increased Russian support for close ally President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s roiling civil war.
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(CNN)Russia carried out new airstrikes inside Syria on Thursday, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, a day after it changed the calculus of Mideast politics by entering the Syrian civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.
“Russian Aerospace Forces engaged another four #ISIS facilities in #Syria this night,” the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter along with gun camera video showing large explosions.
The strikes were carried out by eight Russian SU-24 and SU-25 jets, which claimed to hit ISIS “terrorist staff” and an ammunition dump near Idlib and another headquarters in Hama.
But 24 hours into the military campaign, Russia’s aims started to come into clearer focus — that it is targeting those who oppose al-Assad, including more moderate factions that are supported by the United States and others in the west. MORE