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What exactly is Russia doing in Syria?

Moscow's stance on the Syrian conflict reveals an ever-complicated web of alliances, armament and regional plays, widening the diplomacy gap between the United States and Russia on Middle East policy.
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Russia's increasing supply of arms and instructors to Syria are among the most controversial issues in world media. But what is really going on?

First, Moscow has never concealed that it provides military-technical assistance to Damascus. This is done in accordance with international law and almost exclusively in the framework of signed contracts, as Russian officials constantly emphasize. At the same time, in the past, Moscow did not deliver weapons that could cause serious complications in Damascus’ relations with its neighbors. For example, in the recent past, Russia scrapped plans to supply S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria after Israel strongly opposed the deal on the grounds that the systems could cover practically the whole Israeli territory.

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