Russian fighter jets are pounding rebel positions and cruise missiles are being launched. Moscow says it’s trying to help prevent the spread of Islamic State. But western powers are accusing Russia of pursuing a “tragically flawed” strategy.
US and Russian officials have addressed the rising tensions in Syria, as the war enters a critical new phase. Washington and Moscow-backed military groups are both set on securing the oil-rich province of Deir el-Zour.
Turkey appears to be building a military infrastructure independent of NATO - much to the annoyance of Washington. But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might need that new S-400 missile defense system at home.
A new safe zone would be a fourth of its kind, which Russian, Iranian and Turkish officials claim led to a decline in violence in Syria. But any comprehensive and long-lasting peace will require the weight of the UN.
Pentagon and US allies in Syria claim Russian jets bombed an area occupied by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The Kremlin denied the allegation, saying it had no incentive to bomb the pro-Western alliance.
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