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With Russia entering the fold, where is the Syrian crisis headed?

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Vladimir Putin
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By Harshmeet Singh

The ongoing Syrian crisis is bringing together two of the most unexpected nations at a single stage, the USA and Russia. While the USA led alliance has been carrying out airstrikes in the IS (Islamic State) captured areas for quite a while, Russia’s entry into the Syrian crisis couldn’t have come any sooner.

Though the recent air strikes carried out by Russia in Syria surprised quite a few, it must be understood that Russia has always had a keen eye on Syria. To put things into perspective, Syria’s Tartus holds the only naval base of Russia outside the countries that formed the Soviet Union. Russia was one of the few countries that supported the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad during the deadly civil war in the country. It even used all its force to shoot down a proposal in the UNSC which was seeking to remove Assad from the Presidency. Over the past few years of the Syrian unrest, Russia has been continuously offering financial and military help to the Syrian administration, without getting directly involved in the domestic upheaval.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

But with Russia now sending its troops to Syria, the earlier dynamics seem to have changed. Experts are of the view that Mr. Putin is trying to increase the stature of Russia at the world stage and bring back its old glory. But with the Russian troops short of real war experience for many decades, this move can easily backfire. While at the outset it may seem that both the US and Russia are throwing their weight in Syria to bring back normalcy, the fact remains that US is as big a critic of the Assad regime as big a supporter Assad has in the form of Russia.

Russia’s increased participation in Syria has also invited sharp reactions from many other countries. The US led coalition, for instance, which also includes Turkey, has asked Russia to put an end to its air strikes, alleging that the Russian planes are targeting innocent civilians and that it would “only fuel more extremism”. Russia, on the other hand, says that it is exclusively targeting IS sites. These strikes were Russia’s first active military operation outside the states of former Soviet Union, ever since the cold war ended in 1991.

Several meetings were held between the Russia officials and the leaders of the US led coalition on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly. Giving minimal attention to the concerns of the US led coalition, a senior official from the Russian ranks said that the air strikes would continue for another 3-4 months. There is another ongoing conspiracy theory behind the scenes, according to which the Russian planes are exclusively targeting the Syrian rebels who are being supported by the US led alliance to overthrow the Assad regime. Whatever the actual dynamics of the situation be, this habit of world powers of battling against each other at a battleground of the third country only brings destruction to innocent people.

 

The author is a Freelance writer. This piece was exclusively written for NewsGram.

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Top 10 interesting facts you need to know about BRAHMOS Missile

The deadly BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

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The name of the missile is taken out from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. Wikimedia Commons
The name of the missile is taken out from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Over the years, India has emerged as a superpower to reckon with. The warfighting capabilities with cutting-edge technological advancements have manifold increased India’s potential at the global level. The man behind the success of India’s missile program is none other than the Late President APJ Abdul Kalam. The BrahMos Aerospace CEO, Sudhir Mishra has also credited the success of Indian missile program to Abdul Kalam.

The deadly BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. The strike-range of the missile is over 290 km and is ranked one of the most advanced missiles of this generation.

The missile can be launched from various platforms. Wikimedia Commons
The missile can be launched from various platforms. Wikimedia Commons

The project was a joint venture between Republic of India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. The both these organization have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited. The name of the missile is taken out from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

Let’s take a look at some of the facts related to BRAHMOS Missile:

  1. BrahMos missile is the world’s fastest cruise missile in operation. The missile can travel at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0.
  2.  The missile can zoom at a very low-cruising altitude of 10 meters at the terminal phase and can hit the target with pin-point accuracy.
  3.  BrahMos missile was first test-fired in 2001, at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur and after that, the missile is tested by DRDO more than fifty times for various platforms.
  4.  The land launched and ship-launched versions are already inducted into service with air-launched and submarine-launched versions in their final phases of the trial.

    BrahMos can travel at a low altitude of 10 meters. Wikimedia Commons
    BrahMos can travel at a low altitude of 10 meters. Wikimedia Commons
  5. DRDO is also experimenting with a hypersonic version of the missile. It is expected that the new variant could attain a speed of Mach 7.
  6.  The land-attack version of BrahMos missile has been developed in many advanced forms of Block I, Block II and Block III variants.
  7.  The trajectory and speed of missile is very unique and thus makes it very hard to detect or stopped. The BrahMos can travel at a low altitude of 10 meters and is also known as terrain hugging missile.
  8.  As per to reports, it is believed that Russia and India are aiming to produce 2000 such supersonic cruise missile in the time frame of 8-1-0 years.
  9.  BrahMos missile is very much advanced in every concept as compared to much hype US’ Tomahawk missile. BrahMos is 4 times larger than Tomahawk missile and 32 times more powerful than it.

    Recently, Brahmos missile has been integrated in India's front-line aircraft, Sukhoi 30 MKI. Wikimedia Commons
    Recently, Brahmos missile has been integrated in India’s front-line aircraft, Sukhoi 30 MKI. Wikimedia Commons
  10. DRDO has already started the work to integrate the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi combat aircrafts. BrahMos was successfully test-fired from Sukhoi on November 22. Sukhoi’s are counted as the most potent aircrafts in the world.