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A new Atlantic Council report uses open source data to debunk Russian claims that its military mostly struck Daesh (ISIS) targets, and links Russia to attacks on civilian facilities and the use of cluster bombs in Syria.However, according to a recent Reuters report, Russia has shipped more equipment and supplies to Syria than it has actually withdrawn in the two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin's withdrawal announcement.Russia's role in Syria has been controversial.Herbst, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in the Bush administration, said Russia's military campaign in Syria has been successful, for now, but that the Kremlin had not been able to assure the Assad regime's fate.Russia's intervention in Syria served to rescue an embattled Assad, weakened the U.S.-backed rebels, diverted international and Russian domestic attention away from the crisis in Ukraine, and allowed the Kremlin to reposition Russia as a partner with the West on Syria, he added.Russia's intervention in Syria is seen by some as an effort by Putin to divert international attention away from Ukraine from which Russia annexed Crimea in March of 2014, and where it has supported separatists in in the east.
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