More evidence of Russia’s deepening and seemingly erratic involvement in Syria’s civil war has now appeared via movements of parts of its Black Sea Fleet into the Mediterranean and blatant incursions into Turkey’s airspace by their Syrian-based tactical aircraft. Russia’s mission creep in Syria seems more like a mission sprint over the last month, with a fully established air base supporting daily air strikes humming away and an Iranian-Iraqi-Hezbollah backed ground offensive, which Russia will support, looming.

 According to NATO, two aerial incidents occurred near the Turkish-Syrian border this weekend involving tactical aircraft emanating out of Syria. The first saw a Russian Su-30SM cross into Turkey’s airspace and after repeated warnings Turkish Air Force F-16s were vectored in to intercept the jet. As the F-16s approached, the Su-30 crossed back over the border into Syrian airspace. A similar incident is said to have occurred with a Russian Su-24 Fencer. CONTINUE