Friday, July 1, 2016

Was a Grand Bargain on Syria Just Struck Between the United States and Russia?

The U.S. government appears to have struck a new and groundbreaking agreement on closer cooperation with Russia in Syria. The deal, reported by the Washington Post on Thursday, was allegedly made June 27 amid other major U.S. diplomatic efforts to contain the crisis in Syria after peace talks failed. Some sources even indicated that Washington facilitated the recent moves to normalize ties between Russia and Turkey, a fraught relationship that has been a source of instability for over a year.

This proposal would reportedly see U.S. forces share information on targets with Russian forces and launch a joint bombing campaign against Jabhat al-Nusra in exchange for an end to Russian bombings of moderate rebel forces. If confirmed, this would be one of the biggest shifts in strategy since the start of the Syrian civil war. The risks of a wider clash with Russia would significantly diminish, and the rebel movement would be weakened. Most important, Moscow would have an opening to both secure its interests in Syria and break its geopolitical isolation.

Read the rest here.

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