A flare-up in the skies above Israel and Syria over the weekend has put a strain on Binyamin Netanyahu’s close ties with Vladimir Putin. The clash also makes it clear that Moscow is the boss when it comes to the Middle East.
Putin’s surprise withdrawal is not only to leverage Assad into constructive peace talks. It is also about creating more options for Russia to influence the direction of the military conflict and political transition as things change both in Russia and on the ground.
By claiming to have deployed a sophisticated air-defence system, Russia may be attempting to force the international coalition to think twice before undertaking air strikes in Syria without consultations with Moscow
In his appeal to the House of Commons to extend UK anti-Daesh operations to Syria, the prime minister cited unique RAF capabilities, in particular the Brimstone anti-armour missile and MQ-9 Reaper. What contributions can the RAF bring to the campaign in Syria?