September 30, 2015
Hof and Stein on Russian Bombing in Syria
"If true, [the bombing] suggests that Moscow is after much more than ISIL," Fred Hof, a former State Department policy planner on Syria in the Obama administration, told Business Insider by email. "Given the fact that the Nusra Front has managed to insinuate itself into much of rebel-held northern Syria, a Russian decision to go after this particular Al Qaeda affiliate would give it the ability to hit nearby non-Al Qaeda opponents of Bashar al-Assad."
Hof added that "it appears that Putin is capitalizing cleverly on the shortfalls of US Syria policy."
Aaron Stein, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Business Insider that the airstrikes will likely "prolong the conflict, forcing the regional states to up their support for rebels."