Russia Extends Influence in Syria

By Patrick Brogan

The Russian military has built a bridge under fire from Islamic militants in the east of Syria at Deir al-Zor, as reported by Reuters. The bridge crosses the river Euphrates and will support Russian military efforts in the area as they seek to defeat radical Islamic terrorists.

The bridge can support tanks and vehicles weighing up to 50 tonnes. 8,000 of these can pass over it in a day. It is also hoped that the bridge will allow access to medical aid and human rights organisations.

The US has watched as the Russians lifted the siege on one of their most despised opponents, Bashar al-Assad. Just last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Vladimir Putin that Iran was a great threat to the region and the Russians should distance themselves from them. This seems unlikely as Russia fears US hegemony and needs all the allies it can get.

If it wasn’t for Russia, and Hezbollah to some extent, the al-Assad regime would surely have been defeated by now. Syria is at a crossroads. Will they make concessions to please the Americans or will they be drawn closer to Russia? Also, what impact will the Kurdistan Referendum have on the country?


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