Thomas van Linge @arabthomness notes that in Syria:
Russia says it'll deploy forces to Latakia, Tartous, Damascus, Hama and Homs but not Daraa, Aleppo or Deir-ezzor.Meanwhile "Russian military denies Syrian air base claims" The Pentagon had earlier claimed Russia was constructing a "forward air operating base" near the city of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Russia has had a naval base on Syria’s coast at Tartus since the 1970s. Just a few days later, Kathrin Hille and John Reed report in the Financial Times on the basis of new satellite photos of the area: "Russia to deploy 2,000 in Syria air base mission’s ‘first phase’...". Russia’s direct military involvement in Syria can only escalate the country’s bloody civil war and increases the risk incidents between Russian and other forces active in the country. Speaking on Russian television, Mr Putin said the Syrian government "is trying to maintain its own statehood".“Our main goal is to defend the Syrian state,” Mr Putin said.
In answer, a shell landed in the grounds of the Russian embassy in Damascus on Sunday but caused no casualties. The Russian foreign ministry said it came from Jobar, which is held by anti-Assad fighters who were not allied with Isis and had “external sponsors” who were responsible for using their influence on “illegal armed formations”.
Perhaps we will need in the near future to keep an eye on Middle Eastern artefacts entering the Russian antiquities market?