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The Debate

Putin's Syria gambit (part 1)

The first Russian air strikes in Syria are definitely a game changer. But for whom? Far from IS group strongholds, Moscow has been pounding positions in the West. The Western-backed Free Syrian Army claims they were the ones targeted. If confirmed, that would add credence to French accusations that the main aim is to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Either way, it's a dramatic move that follows a much-anticipated first speech in a decade by Putin before the UN General Assembly.

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