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Russian Soldiers Bring Profits to Syrian Business Owners
Russia began its airstrikes in Syria on Sept. 30, 2015. In addition to military intervention, the Russians are also bringing in profits.
Ihab stocks the shelves of his father's liquor store with vodka to please a growing customer base of Russian soldiers in the coastal city Latakia in Syria, on Dec. 19, 2015. "The Russians are a profitable economic presence, and our sales have gone up more than 20 percent since they don't argue about prices," Ihab told an AFP reporter.
A waiter serves customers in the "Moscow Cafe" coffee shop in Latakia, where Russian clients drink for free, on Dec. 18, 2015. Russian soldiers are going into the city for food, drink and entertainment, creating a new customer base with different demands for Latakia's businesses.
Thirty-year-old Syrian Tarek Shaabo, who owns "Moscow Café," holds up a lighter emblazoned with the Russian army's logo on Dec. 18, 2015. Shaabo says he opened his coffee shop in 2012 as a sign of gratitude to Russia for vetoing UN Security Council resolutions on Syria's war.