WW4/Middle East Files: Russia’s most advanced helo gunships making combat debuts in Syria, even after Moscow’s official military pull-out; Mi-28N “Havoc” carries out sortie near Palmyra in late March, while Ka-52 Alligator engages rebel targets near Homs in early April; Mi-28N crashes near Homs, both crew killed, bodies recovered, returned to Russian air base in Latakia, Kremlin denies chopper came under fire from rebels, alleges “technical error”; Syrian dictator Assad fetes Russian parliamentary delegation, tells Communist Sergey Gavrilov: “Putin commands such respect among Syrians he could take any state position in the country”; in Feb. article Spanish national daily El Pais reported many Syrians, especially in regime-held Damascus, “experiencing Putin-mania”; Russian Academy of Sciences fronts for Kremlin: “The deployment of US long-range missile-carrying [B-52] bombers [in Qatar] may be aimed not only against Daesh [ISIS]. This may also serve a signal to Russia because those bombers can easily reach the Russian borders . . .” [i.e., USA is a threat to Russia]

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