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Tuesday, November 03, 2015 

ISIS gains more footholds in Syria

No thanks to Russian military who've helped them, whether intentionally or not (Hat tip: Accuracy in Media):
The Islamic State has continued to make gains in central Syria amid a barrage of Russian airstrikes that have mostly targeted rebel groups elsewhere in the country, according to reports.

The terrorist group is reported to have seized the town of Mahin in central Homs province during the weekend. Mahin is located near a strategic highway that links Homs to the capital Damascus. Islamic State militants also captured large arms depots in Mahin.

Additionally, the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) has taken control of some villages in eastern Aleppo province, the scene of intense clashes between rebel groups and Syrian government forces backed by Iranian troops and Russian airstrikes. The advances have allowed the terrorist group to expand from its current stronghold in northern and eastern Syria.

“ISIS maintains its ability to threaten both regime and rebel-held terrain, largely undeterred by Russian airstrikes,” wrote Genevieve Casagrande and Jodi Brignola with the Institute for the Study of War. “ISIS continues to contest the regime-held town of Safira in the southeastern countryside of Aleppo, threatening the regime’s primary ground line of communication to Aleppo City.”

They noted that the Islamic State’s capture of Mahin “may spark a response from Russian warplanes in the coming days.”

However, Russian strikes in defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have so far largely attacked the positions of rebel groups, including some that received TOW anti-tank missiles through a CIA program. Recent victories by the Islamic State, as well as Russia’s targeting of the rebels, appear to undermine Moscow’s claims that it is only combating terrorist groups.

Russian bombing of rebel positions continues, wrote Casagrande and Brignola.
So they're targeting the lesser evils in a way that allows the worse one to gain ground. That only enforces the vibe that Russia's working for all the wrong sources in the middle east, and proves there's long been something terribly wrong with how Russia's being run.

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