Vladimir Putin sometimes does not back his words with concrete action. The Russian president had said that as the ISIS was on its last legs, the Russian commitment in terms of military aircraft in Syria would be scaled down. This does not appear to be happening as a US plane was able to photograph two of Russia's latest stealth fighters, the Su-57 landing at the Russian base at Khmeimim on the Mediterranean Sea.

Two of Russia's most potent fighters were seen in operation over the Syrian airspace. Newsweek has reported that the Russian planes are very much in operation in Syria and all talk by Putin of a "drawdown" was perhaps just a bluff.

Su-57

The SU-57 is Russia's answer to the American F-35. It incorporates the Stealth Fighter technology, and there is a chance the Russians are testing the plane in Syria. The aim is also to see how it fares against the American plane. In addition, the Russians would also like to impress future clients for the plane like India as to its combat capability. The plane has been developed on the SU-35 platform and is not tested in combat. The plane may not be used for actual combat in Syria for the danger of a plane getting shot down and technology falling into the hands of the enemy.

Supporting Assad

The Russian Airforce has done a commendable job in Syria, and their Tu-95 bombers have been bombing ISIS targets in Syria from their bases in Russia and Iran.

They have bolstered efficiently the regime of President Assad, who would have been overthrown if Putin had not ordered the Russian air force and army to intervene in Syria.

America and Russia have been coordinating their air operations in Syria but last week in a strike by the USAF at least 300 Syrian soldiers and many Russian contractors have been killed.

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A Russian ground attack plane was also shot down by rebels and the pilot, though he ejected was killed in the subsequent battle.

Future

The stakes in Syria are high, and the Russians by their military might have ensured that Assad is the main player in the region.The US is backing the anti-Assad forces and as such the chance of a Russia-America face-off is a real possibility.

The SU-57 is the Russian answer to the Raptor and F-35. The plane costs a fraction of the American plane as per Janes all the worlds aircraft. With the induction of the SU- 57, the chances that Russia will tone down its operations in Syria look remote. Probably Putin just commented a drawdown for world opinion.