The Russians feel the need to protect Assad, as he will prevent the Qataris from building a gas pipeline to the Mediterranean, which would threaten the Russian energy company Gazprom. Thus, to the Russians, the stakes are high.
Further, they all know they are dealing with a complete idiot in the form of Barack Obama, at least as it comes to international relations. They certainly do not respect him, and will challenge him boldly, to see what happens. Sounds like Khruschev and Kennedy back during the Cuban missile crisis, except Obama is no Kennedy, as everyone now knows.
That, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. From the article:
"Those who were intently following the USDJPY pair formerly known as the stock market today missed the biggest news of the day: the proxy war in Syria just went hot, following a confluence of news, first that Russia insisted "it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew" and in logical retaliation to yesterday's decision by Europe to lift an arms embargo to the Al Qaeda-supported, Qatari mercenaries operating in Syria, also known as "rebels.
This lead Israel's defense minister Moshe Yaalon to immediately signal that "its military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria."
Meanwhile back in the US "the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast."
And just to make it very clear that Russia is not bluffing, it announced overnight that its four regiments of S-300 air defense systems have been deployed at the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia as part of another snap combat readiness check of the Russian armed forces "The missions will be carried out in conditions of heavy electronic warfare to test the capabilities of the air defense units to the highest limit."
And to think: yet another threat of a global war over some natgas pipelines from Qatar to Europe, and a threat to Gazprom's monopoly."
So, to summarize, the Russians are providing the Syrian regime with an air defense system that will threaten the Israeli's ability to stop Hezbollah from receiving advanced weaponry from Iran through their Syrian allies. That is an existential threat to the Jewish state, and could well require a quick military response. The Russians, consistent with their nature, will not be backing down, especially when they sense weakness and indecision from our own president. Meanwhile, that very president is proposing to up the ante by attempting to establish a no fly zone over Syria, to aid the Al Qaeda allied rebels, all the while distracted by his own growing scandals at home.
No good come of all this, and much bad.