Now the Russian Black Sea fleet's Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency. The Russian news reports did not elaborate on the Russian troops' mission in Syria or if they are expected to leave the port.
Now we are are getting somewhere. Rebel forces must be getting to Assad or Russia is afraid Assad is out-matched. In either case, Russian troops on the ground in Syria changes the dynamics. The Russian troops check any airstrikes by the US or NATO. If a guided bomb or missile goes awry, and they still do sometimes, and strikes a Russian troop there will be consequences. I don't know if President Obama and Secretary Clinton get Putin is a hardline Soviet (not a typo). As such, he is playing high stakes poker here and will put his troops in the way of US weapons if just to bolster anti-US feelings back home. Could be why there was a report of three carrier battle groups being dispatched to the region.
We should also pay attention to Iran. If Iran remains silent, it will prove that Tehran and Moscow have been in collusion. North Korea is providing the needed distraction to all of this keeping US forces spread thin, not to mention the turmoil now in Afghanistan.