Image From www.aljazeera.com
The thrust of yesterday’s article assumed that Putin would send troops into Syria in support of the Assad government. Of course all Moscow committed to was air support.
Air support may buy Assad a bit of time, but it, in and of itself will not and cannot be a game changer. That can only happen with boots on the ground. And in fact by bombing ISIS positions, (as opposed to saying they are bombing ISIS positions as the US- France and Turkey does), it is only likely to strengthen ISIS all the more.
It will act as a powerful recruitment campaign for new ISIS fighters. And it is likely that the Gulf States will react by increasing funding and Erdogan by increasing material and logistical support.
The only real game changer that can be made in the Levant would be the introduction of Russian troops.
It still holds true, that in the Levant war there can be no winner. All that can come about is a negotiated peace through Balkinization of the region, or for the area to fall into chaos as per Libya. Russian troops in Syria will encourage a political agreement. Bombing will accomplish next to nothing.
Putin is only beginning his bombing campaign because Assad’s troops are tiring and his military position is eroding. Bombing alone will not change this. So the assumption is that if Moscow is serious about saving Assad, (which will encourage a political solution) it will have to sooner rather than later introduce troops.