This article was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/week-twenty-two-of-the-russian-military-intervention-in-syria-putin-announces-a-new-strategy/
These are amazing times indeed. Only two weeks ago I outlined the likelyhood of a dramatic escalation of the war in Syria, and this week Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of what I would call the “tactical air strike” component of the Russian task force in Syria. How is that possible? How could the Russian warn about Turkish troops poised to invade Syria and then suddenly pull out a major chunk of their Syrian-based firepower.