Putin’s goals in Syria went beyond saving Assad

Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky comments on an interview General Valery Gerasimov, the head of Russia’s General Staff, gave in Russian media. Bershidksy writes that Gerasimov’s interview reveals, more so than going into Syria to defend Assad and defeat the Islamic State, Moscow used the war in Syria to battle-test the Russian military and its new weapons. Likewise, the interview reveals that, as with all of Russia’s military interventions under Putin, Moscow viewed Syria as a proxy war against the U.S.


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