Three Russian soldiers have been killed in Syria during fighting between Islamic State group jihadists and Moscow-backed government forces. Media reports have said that the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the soldiers were killed on Monday near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. The same day, Syrian government troops came close to encircling IS jihadists in a pocket of the city after crossing the adjacent Euphrates River to reach the eastern flank, Russia’s defence ministry has been quoted as saying.
The foregoing shows that Moscow is an active player in the Middle East theatre. The same is true for Iran as well. The Arab sheikhdoms, on the other hand, are said to be siding with groups opposed to the Bashar al-Assad rule. In a latest development, Russia has warned US it will target US-backed fighters in Syria “if provoked”. Over 430 civilians are said to have been killed in August alone by US-led coalition actions in anti-ISIL push in Raqqa. The grave diplomatic crisis in the Gulf has only added to the Syria turmoil. Is the world nearing the outbreak of Third World War?