HAVING dramatically entered Syria’s war on September 30th with a slew of air strikes against the forces battling Bashar al-Assad, Russia upped the stakes again a week later. On October 7th it hit the opposition with cruise missiles launched from hundreds of miles away in the Caspian Sea. The missiles and the strikes are said by Russia to be part of a campaign against “terrorism”, but have almost exclusively been directed not against Islamic State (IS) but against opposition groups, including some supported by America, much closer to Mr Assad’s remaining heartland.

Source: Down but not yet out | The Economist