Since the shootdown of a Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force on the 24th of November, Russia has escalated its bombing campaign in Syria against rebel groups in the north of Syria, including ones the US calls ‘moderate forces’. Some of these groups have the backing of the US & Turkey and have been actively fighting against both the Assad regime and ISIS for some time. Following Russia’s intervention in the war, the number of deadly airstrikes have increased targeting both rebels and also truck convoys moving across the border from Turkey into Syria which allegedly carried aid. Russia has as stepped up its attacks in areas close to the Turkish border that are home to a large number of Turkmen, seen by Turkey as their ethnic brethren.
As well as bombing, Russia has committed heavier and more sophisticated hardware to the region, including the S-400 anti aircraft system. Although there was some evidence that suggested that the S-400 was in the country already, Russia only revealed the system after the shootdown of the Russian jet. Furthermore, Russia has also started arming some of their fighter/bomber aircraft with air to air missiles for ‘defence’ and has deployed the guided missile cruiser ‘Moskva’ to the region, in order to provide additional anti-aircraft protection.
Aside from these direct military deployments, Russia has been hitting back at Turkey in other ways, such as arresting Turkish businessmen, banning Russian football clubs from signing Turkish players and seizing Turkish cargo ships. The Russian government has even gone so far as to pursue economic sanctions against Turkey, and discouraging Russian tourists from visiting.