September 30, 2015

Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria

Featuring Julianne Smith

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Karen DeYoung

UNITED NATIONS — Blindsided by the unexpected swiftness of Russia’s air attacks in Syria, the Obama administration scrambled Wednesday to retake the diplomatic and military initiatives, saying that it would not be bullied into supporting President Bashar al-Assad and that it was about to significantly expand its own Syrian air operations.

After spending much of the day together here behind closed doors, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said in terse evening statements that U.S. and Russian military officials would meet, perhaps as soon as Thursday, to “deconflict” their operations in Syria.

Standing side by side outside the U.N. Security Council chamber, they said they had reached some preliminary agreements on a way forward toward a negotiated political solution to Syria’s civil war but indicated they were far from agreed on its outcome. They took no questions.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

  • Julianne Smith

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and is currently serving as a Weizsäcker Fellow at the Bosch Academy in Berlin....