|Putin as man-porn in a Tupolev bomber|
Russia informed the United States through diplomatic channels about making the escalation in arms shipments. Mr. Putin wants to take a more active role against ISIS that if left unchecked could expand its operations into the troubled Caucasus. American officials are concerned that the increase in delivery of advanced weapons is part of an effort to establish an airbase for Russian planes on the Syrian coast; Russia already has a naval base at Tartous. If this is the case, there is a risk warplanes from opposing camps could face confrontation in the skies over Syria. Russia already has military advisors on the ground aiding Syrian government forces. France is preparing to join other western nations in continuing air strikes against the militants after a terror attack was thwarted by passengers on a French express train. UK killed two of its citizens fighting for ISIS in a recent drone strike, the first of its kind by the RAF in Syria. The West has already rejected President Putin's suggestion to form a broad coalition, including Syria's government, to fight ISIS. Russia has rejected demands for immediate removal of its ally, President Bashar al-Assad. Increasingly, the Syrian civil war is becoming dominated by the geopolitics between East and West and not about stopping ISIS that is essentially stalemated on the ground--the government controls all but two of Syria's fourteen provinces--despite the attention-grabbing attrocities it commits.