Soviet troops are entering the carnage in Syria on behalf of ‘President’ Assad (I put quotes around that because you can’t be president of a country that fails to function). Click here for a report about their role.
If Russia is directly intervening, it is not the first time and shows Russian continuity of Soviet policy in the region.
In their book ‘Foxbats Over Dimona’ – click here for details – journalists and post-Soviet analysts Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez use Soviet archives and testimony from Soviet troops to put together a startling history of Moscow’s precipitation of the 1967 Six Day War with a view to landing troops, and using air power to target Israeli nuclear facilities.
According to the book, it was only prevented by the unexpected lightning Israeli victory – the consequences of Soviet intervention in that war are unimaginable.
The Soviet Union, and now Russia, view the possibility of a stable and thriving Middle East as a victory for America; another region in the American orbit, with secure oil supplies, control of the Mediterranean, the Suez canal, the Gulf, and threatening Russian ‘strategic interests’.
Putting troops into Syria shows just how far they are prepared to go to maintain an unstable region; but in 1967 they almost went a lot further.