Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Russia | vladimir putin | russian | plane | crash | fight

Officials Hope Russian Plane Crash Will Force Putin to Fight ISIS

Image: Officials Hope Russian Plane Crash Will Force Putin to Fight ISIS
Vladimir Putin (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Nov 2015 12:25 PM

Intelligence and military officials reportedly hope the crash of a Russian civilian airliner by what appears to have been an Islamic State bomb will force Vladimir Putin to aggressively retaliate against the jihadists.

"Now maybe they will start attacking [ISIS] and stop helping them," one senior defense official tells The Daily Beast.

Since the plane crashed Oct. 31, killing 224 civilians, Russia has struck two ISIS-controlled areas in Syria: Raqqa and Palmyra, the Daily Beast reports.

"I suppose now he'll really let ISIS have it," an unnamed senior intelligence official tells the website. "This should be fun."

The Daily Beast said it interviewed six intelligence and military officials, all who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Russia began its air campaign in Syria on Sept. 30, but has been criticized for aiming primarily to shore up the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The website reports the downing of the jet didn't sound immediate alarms at the White House – but that may have been calculated.

"This wasn't an American airliner. If it were, we'd be having a different conversation," one intelligence official tells The Daily Beast, while another official notes:

"It is not the United States' responsibility to secure Sharm el-Sheikh airport and the facilities there. Why the muted response? Because that is the best one to have."

The Daily Beast also reports officials and counterterrorism experts question that ISIS could easily repeat a similar attack that apparently relied on an insider at the airport to place the bomb aboard – or let a person aboard who did.

"If this was ISIS, I don't know if they can scale or replicate this,"  Christopher Harmer, an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War, tells The Daily Beast.

"Sharm el-Sheikh is notorious for being in a high risk area with a low quality security operation."

There could be an upside for Putin in the aftermath of the crash, which could trigger a "rally around the flag effect," Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism expert and fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tells the website.

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Intelligence and military officials reportedly hope the crash of a Russian civilian airliner by what appears to have been an Islamic State bomb will force Vladimir Putin to aggressively retaliate against the jihadists.
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2015-25-10
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2015 12:25 PM
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