The full global political reaction to last night's U.S. airstrikes on a Syrian air base remains to be seen, but the impact on Russia’s economic ties to Syria will only heighten tense relations. As Russia denounced the U.S. attack and promised to bolster Syrian air defenses, the main Russian stock market index dropped 1.8 percent, despite gains in the price of oil. Russia, as President Bashar Assad’s staunchest ally, has boosted the Syrian government’s military might in its civil war and in turn profited from billions of dollars in arms and equipment sales. Experts say it’s more than just arms; Russia’s investments in Syria run deep.
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