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Russia Pressuring Allies To Join Fight In Syria

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Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said this week that the Kremlin is attempting to bring its allies into the fight in Syria. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are being pressured to send troops to the Middle East as observers to help reduce the fighting in proposed de-escalation zones, reported Business Insider.

Kazakhstan has played a major role in hosting peace talks in Astana and is attempting to raise its international, diplomatic presence. However, it seems the two moderate Muslim nations do not want to upset other Sunni nations in the region and are, at this time, not likely to send troops.

“Shamanov’s statement seems to indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to expand the number of allied governments active in Syria that would support Moscow’s military actions there,” Uran Botobekov wrote in a Jamestown Foundation report.

“Russia is keen to share the burden with other countries, as it doesn’t want to find itself taking over the bulk of what would undoubtedly be a vey dangerous mission … Due to [Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan’s] strong relationship with Turkey, they would be acceptable to Ankara,” wrote Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst with Stratfor, reported Business Insider.

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