Russian marines in first combat role in Syria
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Russian officers and marine troops were seen Sunday for the first alongside Syrian troops fighting the Islamic State. At least 60 marines arrived in the Homs arena in eastern Syria Saturday. Their officers immediately sat down with commanders of the Syrian army’s 67th Brigade of the 19th Tank Division to determine strategy for taking on ISIS forces in the district. DEBKAfile’s sources add: The Russian advisers are chiefly concerned with charting an offensive for the recapture of Palmyra from ISIS, a mission to which Moscow attaches high importance.