and not just by deploying Russian warplanes.
The Pentagon was “reeling” with the Syrian war, said Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, when he announced that the U.S. Air Force had launched over 500 airstrikes over Syria and that Russia was providing air support for those operations. Votel added that a Russian jet had buzzed his plane as he attempted to refuel in Syria in January.
As the U.S. Navy and CIA had quietly carried out similar missions, the two powers’ relations have been at a low ebb thanks to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and interference in the U.S. campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Russia’s actions in Syria, however, have caused Washington to reevaluate its position. At least for now.
“The war on terror is really a war on Russia,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “That’s why the Russians are so desperate.