It’s not yet clear if ISIS is responsible for the Russian jet crash that happened in the Sinai Peninsula, but this incident could raise the stakes for the U.S.-led coalition in its struggle to eliminate the Islamist terrorist group.
Russia could send more units in Syria
It seems like ISIS has developed the capability of targeting aircraft, meaning that, if this scenario proves real, Russia will increase its military presence in Syria. 224 people were killed in the crash, but U.S officials are confident that ISIS did not shot down the plane, although the idea of a bomb on board, loaded before takeoff, is taken into serious consideration. U.S. officials continued to state that mechanical failure is also a possibility, says NBC News.
According to the same source, at least three top officials at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport remained without a job, including the chief of security, after security glitches were found. Kevin Baron, executive editor of security analytics company Defense One, declared that if this is indeed ISIS’ hand, then the bomb attempt is a “real game-changer for the region” and demonstrates the organization’s power and capabilities. Now, ISIS isn’t only about Syria and Iraq, as the terrorist group expanded to Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and even Nigeria and Yemen.
Russia to strike back
Russia began deploying special operations forces in Syria early last month, probably attracting ISIS’ rage. And without doubt the terrorist organization is a force to be reckoned with, as they have cash at their disposal and a sophisticated online recruiting structure, making it easy to join their ranks, unlike al-Qaeda.
A source in the U.S military located in the region told NBC News on Wednesday that it’s almost certain that Russia will retaliate “heavily and militarily”, meaning that Putin would most likely increase the number of Russian advisers in Syria.