Israeli defense chief: Russian troops already in Syria

Israel’s defense minister says Russian forces have arrived in Syria in recent days to aid President Bashar Assad’s beleaguered government. Moshe Ya’alon told reporters Thursday that Moscow sent military advisers and an active force to set up an air base. He says the base, near the Syrian city of Latakia, could be used to deploy fighter jets and helicopters in strikes against Islamic State militants. Ya’alon’s disclosure is the latest indication of a Russian military buildup in Syria that has concerned the United States and NATO.



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