Thomas Friedman missed the plot on this one. Like many in public they though Putin was going after ISIS. I never believed that. In the end the first attacks by Russian planes were against Assad's enemies trained by the CIA and not ISIS. Strategic common sense so obvious I thought everyone is playing smoke and mirrors here.
Russia cannot accept losing its stakes in the Middle East via Syria. So at all costs it must prop Assad up. Assad's enemies are Putin's enemies. The whole game play is when the dust finally settles who knows when, Russia must keep its interest in Syria, i.e., it must never be lost to the Sunnis.
For the Americans they know their targeted air strikes are having limited success. Let the Russians do what they find morally repugnant. The dirty work of indiscriminate destruction of targeting ISIS assets regardless of civilian casualties.
If you are not on ISIS or Assad's side you are better off quitting this game and join the thousands fleeing to Europe. You will be sacrificed in this high stakes game.
I decided to make it easier for myself by confirming that the Russians aren't using smart bombs before writing this post. I have nothing to prove accept to record this and look at it again much later.
And that is why we need a strong SAF because you ain't going to find an outside power whose interests are perfectly aligned with yours.
Update: Oct 3 7:45 pm
Just as I thought. Russia dirty hands in killing civilians indiscriminately. Wondering if the West were naive or acting blur. Well on the other hand Putin trusted the West once over bombing Libya and learnt his lesson.