— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) October 5, 2015
As I was saying…
[Original post below]
You might have read the headline about Russia’s violation of Turkish airspace, but the NYT report buried the real lede seven grafs down:
But Russia, which began its air campaign in Syria last Monday, showed no sign that it was backing down. In fact, Adm. Vladimir Komoyedov, the head of the armed forces committee in Russia’s Parliament, told news services that pro-Russian veterans of the conflict in eastern Ukraine side will most “likely” start showing up as a volunteer battalion in Syria.
300,000 Chinese “volunteers” crossed the Yalu River in 1950 to save North Korea — and they did. Those People’s Liberation Army soldiers weren’t any more volunteers than these Russian troops, but up against thugs and terrorist (and without restrictive ROEs), they’ll probably do more than their bit to save Assad.
Then there’s this piece I found elsewhere this morning:
The real question here is where would Russia[n ground forces] strike first? Undoubtedly, Russia’s first targets would be in already-bombed locations. Analysts at the Sentinel Analytical Group believe Homs could very well be Russia’s first major objective. The fact that Homs is completely isolated from other rebel-led areas makes it an ideal target for al-Assad and its Russian ally, affording Russian forces an opportunity to get the measure of the operational environment quickly.
A viable strategic location due to the petroleum refinery, a ground operation in Homs would also deal a huge blow to the American effort in arming and supporting anti-Assad rebel groups.
Boom. That target kinda picks itself.
Keep an eye on Homs.