Global Smackdown: (10/22) what’s going on and why it matters



Kelsey Hanson

Who: Russia

What: Bombing Syria

Where: Rebel occupied Syria 

Why: Under the pretense of fighting ISIS

How: Airstrikes

So What: Over the past several weeks, Russia has made its presence felt in Syria through a multitude of airstrikes. Russian president Vladimir Putin claims that these recent airstrikes have been an attempt to eliminate the presence of the Islamic State in Syria. However, logistically speaking, Russia’s airstrikes have been concentrated not on ISIS occupied territory but on rebel occupied territory. This suggests that Russia is not so much interested in eliminating ISIS from Syria as it is in removing the rebel forces set up in opposition against Syria’s president, Russian-backed Bashir Al Assad. Russia’s presence in Syria is shifting up the power dynamic within the Middle East and only time will reveal the subsequent effects. 

*Global Smackdown is a 23-minute forum facilitated by Dr. Tim Horner every Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Corr Lounge.