Saturday, December 12, 2015

Russia Losing Its Battle Against Jihadists in Syria

According to Russia’s Defense Minister on Friday December 11th, Russia had underestimated the jihadist forces in Syria when it entered the war against them on September 30th. Whereas at that time the estimated number of jihadists fighting there was 30,000, the current estimate is 60,000. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says, “The Islamic State area of influence is expanding. Militants have seized about 70% of the Syrian territory. The number of terrorists amounts to about 60,000 people.” 
The report from Tass says that, “Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov earlier said that from 25,000 to 30,000 foreigners, including from Russia, were fighting in the ranks of Islamic State. The CIA estimated the number of militants at about 30,000 people.”
The jihadist problem is thus now twice what it was estimated to have been on September 30th. On 2 October 2015, Reuters bannered “Russian air strikes in Syria to last three-four months: Putin ally,” but now this timetable seems almost certain to be pushed way back.

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