Russian strikes again expose US disarray

via Yahoo News

New York (AFP) – Russia’s dramatic entry Wednesday into the Syrian war put the United States on the back foot once again and left Washington struggling to regain the military and diplomatic initiative.

As US Secretary of State John Kerry was in New York trying to coordinate with his Kremlin opposite number Sergei Lavrov, a Russian officer contacted the US embassy in Baghdad.

His message was simple: Russian jets are about to launch air strikes in Syria, please stay out of their way.

Kerry quickly protested to Lavrov that this was not in the spirit of Moscow’s promise to agree a “de-confliction” mechanism to ensure Russian flights do not interfere with US-led operations.

But the strikes were already underway, potentially altering the balance of power in Syria back in favor of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and Washington was looking at a fait accompli.

Lavrov’s next move was to promise to bring a motion before the UN Security Council to coordinate “all forces standing up against Islamic State and other terrorist structures.”

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