US: Growing Russian Presence Not Making Significant Gains in Syria

4,000 Russian Troops Estimated on the Ground in Syria

US officials were predicting a Russian military failure in Syria within hours of the first airstrikes, and a month in, officials are already crowing that Russia, despite launching myriad airstrikes and have around 4,000 ground troops inside Syria, haven’t made “significant territorial gains” there.

Officials seem eager to mock Russia’s lack of progress in Syria, presenting it as vindication of their own predictions that Russia’s military wouldn’t sweep to victory in Syria, though the US has been launching airstrikes against the same targets in Syria for over a year, and doesn’t have much to show for it either.

When they first launched their war, Russian officials were predicting it would only last a matter of months, though they appeared to have backtracked from that almost immediately thereafter, conceding their goals were going to likely take a year or more to realize.

Either way, the US criticism undercuts their own shaky war strategy, for if the administration believes 4,000 Russian troops aren’t a difference maker, the recently announced plan to send 30-50 US troops to Syria is downright puzzling.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of