On Thursday morning, a Russian naval vessel carrying over 200 Marines arrived at the densely populated port-city of Tartous in order to bolster the total number of military personnel on the ground in Syria's western countryside.
According to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that is stationed in Jableh (Latakia), the Russian Marines number over 1,250 military personnel on the ground in Syria; this does not include the dozens of military advisors that are spread around the country.
The officer added that Russian Federation is expected to double their number of military personnel on the ground in the coming weeks, as they look to proliferate more weapons and soldiers in anticipation for a potential ground assault against the Syrian Al-Qaeda group "Jabhat Al-Nusra" and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
Will Russia participate in a ground assault against ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra? This is becoming more likely everyday; furthermore, the Russians have reached out to a number countries to for their own anti-terrorist coalition that would include countries like Lebanon, Egypt, China, Iran, and Iraq.
The U.S. and Russia have agreed to host a meeting to discuss the latter's increased role in this Syrian Conflict; these latest airstrikes have agitated the U.S. military due to the allegations that the Russians targeted the "moderate" rebel militias.