A recent (31 August, 2015) article from Zero Hedge claims that Russia is currently deploying troops to Syria.

as Ynet reports, not only has Putin not turned his back on Assad, or Syria, but the Russian reinforcements are well on their way. [...]

According to Ynet, Russian fighter pilots are expected to begin arriving in Syria in the coming days, and will fly their Russian air force fighter jets and attack helicopters against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets within the failing state.

The article quotes this Ynet article:

According to Western diplomats, a Russian expeditionary force has already arrived in Syria and set up camp in an Assad-controlled airbase. The base is said to be in area surrounding Damascus, and will serve, for all intents and purposes, as a Russian forward operating base.

In the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria, including advisors, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and the pilots who will operate the aircraft.

When I searched for Russian troop deployments to Syria I only came up with news articles that were either years old or the begining of August when Russia said it would not be sending troops to Syria.

Can anyone shed a little impartial light on this?

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    Thanks for formatting this @Oddthinking, this is my first time here.
    – James
    Sep 1 '15 at 17:11
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    Congratulations James, for being your first time this is an intersting question, +1. Sep 1 '15 at 20:41
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    just a small update, This story is now being carried here theDailyBeast they seem to be a legitimate news site started in 2008 and also reference several other sources. They contradict the claim that the Russian air force will be flying missions in Syria.
    – James
    Sep 4 '15 at 13:30
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    There is a blogpost in russian ruslanleviev.livejournal.com/38293.html , you can try to translate it using google translate. In short it says that Russia has some kind of base in Tartus since 1971, and that they moving in new forces to that base (including mentioned BTR-82A and Yakovlev Pchela-1T), but seems there is no evidence that Russian troops taking action in battles.
    – llamerr
    Sep 6 '15 at 15:41
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    Russian naval facility in Tartus. See also Russia Today op-ed.
    – gerrit
    Sep 7 '15 at 14:20

It looks like Russia is in fact supplying more material and men to Syria at this point. the BBC is running an article that supports the article run on the Daily Beast(here). The information is apperently reliable enough that John Kerry, US Secretary of State, has commented on it and the New York Times has one or more unnamed officials talking to them about it. (here).

TL:DR Russia is deploying some troops to Syria, how many is unknown.

Added 9/9/15

from Reuters

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Russian military experts were present in Syria, the first official confirmation that the Russian military is on the ground in Syria after weeks of increased talk that Moscow may be growing its presence there.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, said the experts were assisting with Russian arms deliveries to Syria which Moscow says are aimed at combating terrorism.

Nothing about if these "Experts" are acting as advisers, trainers, or anything other then just delivering arms like Zakharova says but with the pictures coming out of Idleb of Russian UAVs and the videos and stills we've seen of Russian armored vehicles it seems they are doing more then just deliveries.

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    Why are those sources better than the one in the question?
    – Sklivvz
    Sep 7 '15 at 8:09
  • I believe that the sources are better because you have them quoting the US secretary of state commenting on the Russian troop movements, so it's not that BBC or New York Times is necessarily better (though I believe them being more mainstream, longer established news outlets does make them better) but you also have them attributing quotes to a very public figure in the US government, who most certainly has better intelligence on what is happening in Syria with regards to Russian troop moments. Seems like a pretty strong argument for their veracity.
    – James
    Sep 8 '15 at 12:48
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    I trust a politician in the US saying Russia is supplying troops about the same amount that I would trust a politician in Russia saying they aren't supplying troops Sep 8 '15 at 19:28

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