With U.S. allies in Europe closing their airspace to Russian military planes en route to Syria, Greece and Iran are providing their own countries for passage.
Reuters reported the news Wednesday of an agreement that took shape in late August. Russia’s alliance with Iran reflects both countries’ support of President Bashar Assad, as his grasp on Syria becomes increasingly tenuous. (RELATED: Syrian Regime Bombing Kills 100 Civilians In Suburban Market)
The revelation comes on the heels of a successful U.S. campaign to keep Russian aircraft out of Bulgarian airspace. Bulgaria is in the middle of the path between Russia and Greece, so Bulgaria complying with the American request effectively blocks Russia’s use of Greek airspace for military purposes.
And Russia avoids Turkish airspace because Turkey, a sworn enemy of the Syrian government, has a history of forcing Russian military planes to land.
Evidence in the past week has suggested that Russia is deploying troops to Syria. At the very least, they are certainly defending existing Russian naval bases in the country. They may also be serving in combat roles, attempting to shore up Assad’s battle against Islamic State and other Islamist and rebel groups. (RELATED: Krauthammer Explains How Putin Plans To Undermine Obama)
For its part, the U.S. is still struggling to identify and train Syrian fighters to fight against both Assad and Islamic State. Turkey, a newfound U.S. ally in the air war against Islamic State, was recently found to have helped an al-Qaida affiliate captured U.S.-backed fighters.
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