Vladimir Putin was not bluffing:
US officials are now widely briefing that Russia has started carrying out airstrikes in Syria, following a vote by the Moscow’s upper house of parliament this morning approving military action in Syria.
Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the Russian upper house of
parliament, says senators approved Vladimir Putin’s permission for
airstrikes in order to crush the “hydra” of terrorism:
We proceeded from the fact that first of all it is in the interests of national security of Russia for many reasons. Because
if today this hydra is not crushed at its roots, where it is already at
war, if we do not destroy “Islamic State” today, Isil could come to
threaten the entire world, including Europe and Russia.
This is very interesting from a grand strategic perspective. Note that Russia is portraying itself as a defender of Europe against Islam, and an ally in that fight, whereas the USA has been actively fostering the Islamic invasion of Europe.