' “Russian intervention has become a unifying factor. Groups inside Syria are now putting aside their differences to join forces against the perceived Russian invasion,” said Hassan Hassan, an associate fellow at Chatham House. “There is a deep sense of anger and little space for moderation.”
Mr Hassan warned that the Russian campaign was likely to bolster, rather than decimate, the forces of extremist groups like Jabhat al Nusra.
“It will use the Russian presence to gain legitimacy and build popularity on the ground," he said. "The Russians enter this conflict at a time when Nusra has already adjusted to the reality of American air strikes, learning to navigate terrain even as the planes fly above." '