Risky Business: Russian Syria Bombing Jeopardizes Ties With Sunni World

Moscow could lose significant influence in the Middle East as nations there react angrily to its bombing of Syrian opposition targets.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and many other states have repeatedly called on Moscow to halt its bombing campaign which began on September 30. The campaign has mostly targeted Syria’s secular and moderate Islamist opposition forces, despite the Kremlin’s insistence that it is only bombing Islamic State (IS) fighters.

Analysts say the anger is deeply felt in Arab capitals because the Arab states have long insisted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down as the first step to ending Syria’s more than four-year civil war.