“Both countries have promoted their respective languages, Farsi and Russian, for instruction in Syrian schools. Both have signed contracts to construct flour mills amid a dire shortage of bread. Both are building power plants. And both have been vying for contracts in oil extraction, phosphate mining and port construction worth many millions of dollars.” WaPo: After backing Assad, Iran and Russia compete for influence and spoils of war. (A reminder that sometimes the arc of history bends towards the bad guys.)