November 20, 2015

Search for a Syria solution: how Russia might help, as ties with US improve

By Nicholas Heras

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist(s) Anna Mulrine

WASHINGTON — Between comments from Secretary of State John Kerry that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not “wedded” to keeping Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad in power, and scenes of President Obama and Mr. Putin huddled at the G20 summit with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, there were some indications this week that the United States might be coming around to the idea of Russia as a potential partner in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria.

So, how helpful a partner could Russia prove to be? Reviews have been mixed on that front.

There have been some signs of a thaw in US-Russia relations in the wake of the Paris attacks last week in which at least 130 people died, and for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Even before the attacks, there were stepped-up efforts to de-conflict operations, and now this thaw offers limited possibilities for military-to-military cooperation, say defense officials. But they express concerns about “reckless and irresponsible” Russian bombings.

Read the full article at The Christian Science Monitor.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...