WW4/Middle East Files: Russia unleashes second wave of long-range bombers over Syria, Blackjacks, Backfires pound ISIS stronghold of Raqqa with 12 cruise missiles, munitions on Nov. 18, follows initial barrage of 34 missiles previous day; Kremlin-run Sputnik after Nov. 17 bombardment: “This marks a truly historic moment for the Russian Air Force. Now, the Bear and the Blackjack have taken part in an actual battle for the first time in their history” [!]; Western mil analysts say Kremlin’s war against Syrian rebels largest air campaign since Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989), speculate on Moscow’s strategy, tactics; US Navy Cmdr. (ret.) Chris Harmer: “In the aftermath of the Paris attacks – Putin saw some opportunity for propaganda strikes so that is what he did . . .their number one priority is preserving the Assad regime”; Col. Steve Warren, Baghdad-based spokesman for Op Inherent Resolve: “We don’t even use those type of tactics anymore. The idea of putting, you know, ten ships [i.e., planes] in the air at one time, or 12 or even more, is very old fashioned . . . The Russians have not bombed Raqqa [before] . . . it’s been coalition planes bombing Raqqa”; France’s, Russia’s top generals discuss by phone joint anti-terror ops in Syria, follows departure of France’s sole aircraft carrier from Toulon, Russian General Staff: “With the arrival of the Charles de Gaulle warship to the Syrian shore we will organize joint military operations”

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