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Published in Press Stream:
November 17, 2015

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Published in Stream:
November 17, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia Transporting Iraqi Militias To Fight In Syria
5 years
Stream: November 17, 2015
Publication: Putin in Syria
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The Telegraph is reporting that Russian helicopters are being used to transport Iraqi militias to fight in Syria. The report cites photographs of Iraqi militiamen standing in front of Russian helicopters as supporting evidence for a a claim made on Twitter by the Assyrian Christian militia, the Gozarto Protection Force, that they are fighting on behalf of the Assad regime.

The militia members have reportedly been airlifted to the Christian town of Sadad, positioned south of Homs and north of Damascus.

Sadad (map) is highlighted on the map on the right below. To the left is the latest assessment of the situation in Syria. While Sadad is not too far from areas where ISIS operates, it is not on the front lines of this fight.

2015-11-17 15:28:55

Iraqi Shia militias have joined the Syrian regime's fight against ISIS and other rebel groups in northern Syria near Aleppo.

The Telegraph also reports that this is an expanded role for Russia's helicopters:

Experts said the apparent Russian decision to move helicopters closer to the front lines would allow Moscow to increase the intensity of its operations, but also risked exposing its personnel to more danger, complicate logistics, and stretch the available force protection assets.

In analysis published last week, Janes Defence Weekly, a specialist defence magazine, said the moves appeared to demonstrate a willingness “to risk the lives of its personnel to maximise the amount of fire support its contingent in Syria can provide to pro-government forces fighting on the frontline.”

US defence officials say Russia has deployed helicopter gunships to the central provinces of Hama and Homs, with another 34 fixed-wing aircraft stationed at the Humaymin Air Base in Mr Assad’s coastal heartland of Latakia.

Read the article here:

Russia transporting militia groups fighting Islamic State to frontlines in Syria

Moscow joined Syria's war on 30 September, launching airstrikes on rebel groups as they pushed close to the regime's north-western heartlands and offering air support to its ground offensives across the country. Although Russia's military force in Syria is now estimated to stand at around 4,000 personnel, the intervention has forced few concrete gains.

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Nov 17, 2015 20:16 (GMT)
-- James Miller