Russian military presence in Syria 'making US intervention complicated'
Russians are helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime to operate their air defences, making any intervention by the US extremely complicated, it has emerged.
Moscow has sent military advisers and surface to air systems to Syria since the revolution in the country broke out 21 months ago.
According to the Guardian, the depth and complexity of Syria's anti-aircraft defences mean that any direct western campaign, in support of a no-fly zone or in the form of punitive air strikes against the leadership, would be costly, protracted and risky.
The possibility of Russian military casualties in such a campaign could have unpredictable geopolitical consequences, the paper added.
Meanwhile, the UN has put the death toll at over 40,000 as the war continues to escalate.
There are growing fears that the desperate Assad regime is preparing to use of chemical weapons against its own people.
The report pointed out that any move by the international community against the regime would be complicated by the presence of the Russians.