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Russian plane crash: What will Putin do if Isis bomb brought down jet?

The crash came barely a month after Moscow began its direct military intervention in Syria




If a bomb on board planted by Isis or the Egyptian affiliate of the militant group did bring down the Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula last week, it would be very bad news for President Vladimir Putin, in both domestic and foreign policy terms.

Thus far US officials are stressing that it has not come to a firm conclusion that a bomb was responsible. But the fact that US intelligence – as well as its British counterpart – has let it be known it believes that is the most likely explanation is telling in itself.

The crash, in which 224 people died, came barely a month after Moscow began its direct military intervention in Syria. At the time Mr Putin said that Isis was a direct threat to Russia, but acknowledged that retaliation from Islamic extremists was possible. Now, it appears, that fear may have become reality.

Russian jets launched intense air strikes on Hama and Idlib

Until yesterday, the tightly controlled Russian media was non-committal about the cause of the disaster. Last night, however, a St Petersburg newspaper was said to


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