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Russia Enters Syria & “Pours Gasoline on the Civil War” | Confronting ISIS | FRONTLINE

When Russia entered the fray in Syria in 2015, “what they said they were gonna do is come in and find [ISIS], and help to use their influence to move Assad aside,” Sec. of Defense Ashton Carter tells FRONTLINE in the above excerpt from “Confronting ISIS.”

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But that’s not what happened. Russia didn’t bomb ISIS — instead, as Carter tells FRONTLINE’s Martin Smith, it “joined Assad against the opposition, thereby pouring gasoline on the civil war.”

With on-the-ground reporting from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, “Confronting ISIS” examines the successes, failures, and challenges of the fight, as ISIS loses ground in the region but strikes out abroad.

Watch the full documentary starting Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST on PBS stations or online:


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FRONTLINE is made possible by PBS and CPB. Major support is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, the Wyncote Foundation and Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.