This is another timely and highly germane commentary from The Daily Bell:
Russian forces launched a heavy bombardment against insurgent-held areas in Syria's Latakia province on Wednesday, near where a Russian warplane had been shot down by Turkey the day before, rebels and a monitoring group said.
At least 12 air strikes hit Latakia's northern countryside as pro-government forces clashed with fighters from al Qaeda's Nusra Front and Turkmen insurgents in the Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman areas, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Turkmen commander said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean were also hitting the area, as well as heavy artillery shelling.
Hassan Haj Ali, the head of Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a rebel group operating in western Syria, also said there were fierce battles in the area, with Russian aircraft supporting pro-government forces.
Turkey on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane that it said had entered Turkish airspace, something denied by Moscow.
There have been strikes for several weeks in Latakia province, whose capital of the same name is Assad's coastal stronghold, but the Observatory said Wednesday's bombardments were particularly heavy.