On the night of 13 to 14 April, armed forces from the United States, the United Kingdom and France bombed three sites in Syria.
At night between 7 and 8 February, US forces carried out airstrikes on columns of pro-Assad troops, including a group of Russian soldiers from the so-called Wagner Group.
Russia’s policy in the Middle East is part of a broader strategy aimed at creating an international order in which Russia would be protected against Western interference in its internal affairs and stand on an equal footing with the United States.
On 22 November the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Hasan Rouhani, met in Sochi.
The withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria is only partial and is essentially a political operation.
Russia has gained the United States’ formal recognition of its role as a co-decision maker in resolving the Syrian question.
The conflict between the regime forces and the anti-Assad opposition appears to be entering the decisive military phase.
The Chinese government perceives Russia's military intervention in Syria as an element of the global fight against terrorism.
The Kremlin has been using the attacks in Paris to persuade the West to fundamentally shift its policy towards Syria – and also towards Russia.
At present, the Kremlin’s is seeking a diplomatic formula that would keep al-Assad in power while providing Western capitals with a face saving.