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 Russia earmarked just $1.2 billion for campaign in Syria in 2016, - Bloomberg

The Russian Federation initially earmarked just $1.2 billion for the war for all of 2016.

An official familiar with the matter said, Censor.NET reports citing Bloomberg.

U.S. President Barack Obama, facing criticism at home over his Islamic State strategy, is turning out to be right with his prediction that Vladimir Putin's own campaign in Syria will descend into a quagmire.

Many senior officials in Moscow underestimated how long the operation in support of Bashar al-Assad would take when Putin entered Syria's civil war on Sept. 30 and no longer talk in terms of just a few months, with one saying the hope now is that it won't last several years.

With the mission in its third month, Putin is pouring materiel and manpower into Syria at a pace unanticipated by lawmakers already struggling to meet his spending goals. The plunging price of oil is sapping revenue and prolonging Russia's first recession in six years, prompting the Defense Ministry this week to postpone some new weapons programs.

Read more: Turkish prime minister says Russia conducts 'ethnic cleansing' in Syria

"This operation will last a year at a minimum," said Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the Defense Committee in the upper house of parliament. "I was expecting more from Syria's army."

Russia initially earmarked just $1.2 billion for the war for all of 2016, an official familiar with the matter said. Outlays were running at about $4 million a day before Putin's mid-November surge in troops and hardware, which doubled the cost to $8 million, or almost $3 billion on an annualized basis, according to the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, a military research group based in London.

But there's no backing down for Putin, who vowed to destroy Islamic State for the Oct. 31 bombing of a passenger jet over Sinai that killed 224 Russians.

The Russian leader is also locked in an increasingly personal confrontation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he accused of supporting Islamic State through illicit oil sales, which Erdogan denies.

Watch more: Russia launches explicit submarine attak on Syria. VIDEO

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n364639