It's fairly clear why the Russians decided to send helicopters to the Syrian government; to overtly and directly challenge American foreign policy in the Middle East.
It almost pushes things to the point of not being about Asssad or Annan's plan anymore, if Annan's plan, like the Jordanian ambassador said on CNN, is the game in the house, if it most definitely didn't involve Russian helos going to Syria either.
Maybe that's all Ivan is signalling, that they have to be a part of things.
They could edge away from that in a lot of different ways, but the bottom line is that once the Russians do actually do that, then we have to shoot down their helicopters, or we lose leverage over Iran too.
If that leads to war with Russia, or more likely just really hostile relations with some pretty nasty Cold War style crises and such, then that leads to that with Russia, but then it would have happened over Iran anyway, which may well be the Russian calculation, or game they are thinking about playing, unless you forcibly back them down right now by what means are necessary, say releasing Pollard and having some pretty redhead fall off a runway.
I mean that's a funny sort of deal there, to have that pretty redhead on the runway with the Turks, get it?
So then the right thing to do is to blow the helos out of the air if they go there, but to offer what can be salvaged out of Annan's plan, but which has to be an exit AT SOME POINT for Bashar al Assad, just for peacekeeping sake.