The logic of this is clear; refugees are fleeing Bashar al-Assad, the Islamic State or both. Having experienced the extreme disruption of Syria's brutal civil war caused by the Assad regime's brutal crackdown on domestic uprisings and the subsequent exploitation of this disruption by ISIS, they are unlikely to entertain illusions about the merits of violence.
Putin is trying to burnish his credentials as an international tough guy in Syria, fighting ISIS, or at least appearing to do so. In reality, he seems to be directing bombs against dictator Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered opposition these days. He's doing it, because that's just about all he can do these days.
At a news conference at the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov may have been on thin ice when he defended Russian intervention on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. He pointed to the chaos that followed US targeting of other Arab autocrats like Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.
United States policy in Syria insists that President Bashar al-Assad must go. But if the U.S. succeeds and the Assad government is scattered to the wind it raises the question: Who will defend the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria from the Islamic State, the al-Nusra Front, and all the other heavily armed homicidal maniacs that already control nearly half the country?