U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is reported to have offered Russia joint operations in Syria against the Islamic State. This is a huge propaganda win for the Kremlin, which has pushed for months for this type of arrangement to legitimize their own operations in the Syrian theater. Moscow hopes this joint effort will take NATO’s eyes off confronting Russian behavior in the northern and eastern tier of the alliance. This apparent shift in U.S. policy in Syria comes as terror attacks mount in the United States and Europe.
The document published by The Washington Post calls for joint bombing operations, a command-and-control headquarters and other synchronized efforts. U.S. and Russian officials with expertise in intelligence, targeting and air operations will “work together to defeat” the extremist groups, the eight-page paper states.
Mr. Kerry, who was to discuss the proposal in Russia’s capital later Thursday, declined to comment.
“I’m going to Moscow, meeting with President (Vladimir) Putin tonight,” Kerry told reporters in Paris. “We’ll have plenty of time to talk about it and I’ll give you all a sense of where we are,” reports Associated Press and USA Today.
The joint operations center would be in Amman, Jordan.