Since the mainstream media can’t seem to report objective facts these days, I’m going to quote a very reliable source, John McCreary’s Nightwatch. Sorry, it’s a subscription service now, but well worth the $24.99 a year.
From Nightwatch, October 14, 2015:
“A significant divergence of policy and strategy between the US and Russia is now apparent in Syria, Iraq and other Mid-eastern countries. The US strategy since 2011 mostly has focused on building up opposition entities to replace authoritarian governments with democratic systems. That has backfired by contributed to widespread instability; civil war and state fragmentation; legitimation of elected Islamist regimes and a backlash among the local populations in favor of stability, exemplified by political developments in Egypt.
Notable exceptions to this strategy are Afghanistan and Yemen. The Afghanistan conflict predates the current US administration whose policy has been to reduce the US presence to an embassy by the end of 2016. In Yemen, the US tends to support the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, possibly because all the Gulf state air forces fly US combat aircraft.
The Russian strategy is built on supporting the governments in power in order to stabilize the existing order. Russia lacks the resources of the US, but President Putin has used his limited resources prudently and maneuvered deftly to advance Russian military presence and influence. Putin’s timing has been almost superb.
For old hands, the Russians and Americans appear to have reversed their traditional roles and swapped strategies and roles. Twenty-five years ago, the Soviets were destabilizing regions by supporting opposition elements in states friendly to the US. Now they are on the side of regional stability.“(Italics are mine)
and from Nightwatch, October 15, 2015 a report, along with a comment:
Russia-Israel: On 15 October Russia’s defense ministry announced that its forces in Syria had set up a “hotline” with Israeli forces to avoid air accidents over Syria.
An “information-sharing” mechanism “has been established through a hotline between the Russian aviation command center at the Humaymim air base in Syria and a command post of the Israeli air force,” the ministry said in a statement. The statement also said that the two sides were undergoing training on how to cooperate.
Comment: The Israelis and Russians wasted little time in establishing a hot line. This is a prudent and practical measure that does not imply recognition or acceptance of the other sides’ political views. It recognizes the new conditions in which combat aircraft are operating.
Israel’s decision to establish a communications link to the Russians near Latakia highlights Israel’s resolve to retaliate against Syria for every spillover effect from the Syrian civil war that lands in Israeli territory.
The bold is my emphasis and I highly recommend our emotionally-driven nitwits in the White House and Pentagon should do the same thing. Our pilots’ lives matter more than playing some male, ego-driven game of “chicken” in the skies over Syria, to no strategic purpose!!!