Russian President Vladimir Putin is tired of Obama’s ineffectiveness in trying to destroy ISIS, decided enough was enough, and started shipping heavy artillery into the war-torn country.
In what’s being called the “first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria” by a U.S. defense official, Putin has sent a total of 15 Russian Antonov-124 Condor flights containing military weaponry and two Russian cargo ships full of sophisticated battle tanks.
The same defense official reported that Russia might launch offensive strikes against the Islamic State group “very soon.”
According to an interview with CBS and PBS, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad commanded the only legitimate army fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and deserves support from countries combating terrorist groups. Putin argues that support for Assad is necessary to defeat the militants, is seizing the initiative with troops and equipment in Syria. The United States and its allies, who argue that Assad must agree to leave power, have been unable to defeat the Islamic State or unseat Assad.
Russia, Iran and the Syrian government have agreed to share intelligence about the Islamic State, which all four governments want to defeat. They apparently have left the U.S. out of their strategy. By all accounts the U.S. has been ineffectual as Putin labeled the U.S. support for rebels in Syria as illegal, and mocked as ineffective a U.S. program that has been unable to train and arm rebels. Along with Russia, Iraq, Syria, and Iran have a lot more at stake and their alliance can defeat these ISIS terrorists. It’s a great move since Iraq’s Defense Ministry said the deal resulted from “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Putin suggested that was a lesson the United States had learned the hard way. He pointedly mentioned embarrassing revelations about a costly three-year program to train and equip moderate rebels fighting Assad. Only four or five ended up on the battleground, and a commander handed over a substantial part of the U.S.-provided military equipment to an Islamic State “intermediary.”
“The initial aim was to train 5,000 to 6,000 fighters, then 12,000, but it turns out that only 60 were trained and only four or five are actually fighting,” Putin said. “All the others simply ran away with their American weapons to Islamic State.”