[Ed. – Because if you somehow accidentally end up with a lot of forces in Syria, you have to protect them, right? Plus, bonus! – there will soon be more Russian forces to protect. My goodness, those Russians are accident-prone. But at least our assessment of all this is totally, like, brilliant and nuanced. Emphasis added, as if you needed it.]
The U.S. military has assessed that the type of Russian aircraft in Syria is consistent with protecting their own forces, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday and called on Russia and Iran to be helpful in ending the four-year conflict.
“For the moment it is the judgment of our military and experts that the level and type represents basically force protection,” Kerry told reporters.
However, depending on Russia’s long-term decisions, the presence of Russian aircraft in Syria could raise some questions about Moscow’s intentions, he added.
Kerry said while both the United States and Russia want the Islamic State defeated in Syria, Washington believed Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was attracting foreign fighters who want Assad to go.