why do russia and china support syria

Russia is a permanent member of the U. N. Security Council. It has the power to veto Security Council resolutions against the Syrian regime and has done so repeatedly over the past two years. So, if the United States and its allies are relying on a U. N. mandate to greenlight a military strike, they may be waiting a long time.
The answer to the question lies in Russia's previous support for Syria, and also the country's previous ties with Hafez Assad, Bashar''s father, in the 1960s.

There is also an argument to suggest the airstrikes are a show of force from Russia, and a display of their military might.

So far, Moscow has mainly targeted central and northwestern Syria - which are strategic regions that are the gateway to Mr Assad's strongholds in Damascus, and along the Mediterranean coast.

But the strikes appear to have given Mr Assad new confidence to try to retake some lost ground.

According to reports from a Syrian official, the group is not present in the areas where the fighting is underway.

Obama and Putin meet at the UN headquarters, September 2015 (AP) Watch the video above to learn more about why Russia is backing the Syrian president and the implications this has on relations with the US.