Report: Russia Sends Ground Forces into Syria

Jerusalem—Russia has sent ground forces into battle for the first time in Syria, according to Kuwait daily, al-Rai.

The troops drove rebel forces from strategic positions, said the newspaper, which is close to the  Damascus regime. It did not say when the troops went into action and there was no mention of casualties. The Russians are not known to have sizable forces in Syria but a small number of tanks have been seen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week in a meeting with military officials that they must prepare for the next stage of the battle.

“Our objectives are being fulfilled and fulfilled well,” he said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. “But for now that is not enough to cleanse Syria of rebels and terrorists and to protect Russians from possible terrorist attacks. The military campaign has not achieved enough and a next phase is needed.

Putin has in the past said that he has no intention of sending Russian troops into Syria but his rhetoric has taken on a more militant tone since Islamic State’s attack in Paris. The Russian air efforts in Syria have been substantially increased in the days since then.

Full article: Report: Russia Sends Ground Forces into Syria (Washington Free Beacon)

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