China, Russia and Iran have come together in a tripartite alliance supporting the Syrian government in the war against radical fundamentalist insurgents.
The main targets of this alliance are Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly al-Qaeda’s affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and its partners….
China signalled it was prepared to join them by dispatching high-profile rear admiral Guan Youfei, head of Beijing’s office for international military co-operation, to Damascus to hold discussions with the Syrian defence minister Fahd Jassem al-Freij.
China offered to train Syrian military personnel and provide humanitarian aid….
China, Russia and Iran appear to have joined forces to counter the coalition of radical insurgents forged by Idlib-based Jaish al-Fatah, dominated by the Jabhat and Ahrar al-Sham, which briefly broke the Syrian army siege of insurgent-held eastern Aleppo on August 5th.
These two groups coalesced with other smaller factions, including Saudi-sponsored Jaish al-Islam, after receiving a substantial injection of armoured vehicles, weapons and ammunition from Saudi Arabia and Qatar via Turkey….
Moscow, Tehran and Beijing fear the fall of secular Damascus would lead to the establishment of jihadi fiefdoms in Syria from which radicals would mount attacks into southern Russia and Iran and promote Muslim dissidence in China.
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