Anbar Province is where 1 of every 3 US fatalities in Iraq occurred.
Damascus is seeking an arms deal with Moscow, a move that would bolster its position in the Middle East.
In the coming weeks, the West will be shaping a long-term response to what many see as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid to change the post-cold-war world.
Despite tensions over missile deals and NATO expansion, the West's ties with Russia are far more nuanced than in Soviet days.
Earlier this week, Syrian president said missiles in his country could offset US-Poland missile pact.
Without Russia, NASA couldn’t send astronauts to the space station between 2010 and 2015.
Oil-pipeline routes, market leverage make struggle a 'battle for energy.'