• Bloomberg


Russia President Vladimir Putin’s sudden escalation of airstrikes inside Syria is forcing the world to confront his latest military adventure, against a backdrop of deep distrust over whether defeating the Islamic State is his only goal.

While the U.S. and its allies want to see the extremists crushed, Putin’s actions — the U.S. said he bombed an area where the terror group doesn’t operate — fueled fears that he really just wants to prop up ally President Bashar Assad, who Western leaders say should step aside. It also raises the odds of high-stakes accidents as Russian and U.S. jets share the same air space but potentially different missions.

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