Friday 21 October 2016

US seeks alliance with Russia to fight Syrian jihadists

Ruth Sherlock

Published 01/07/2016 | 02:30

President Barack Obama. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
President Barack Obama. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

The United States is seeking to establish a new military alliance with Russia in Syria that would see the two countries join forces in combating jihadist groups, it has been reported.

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The proposal, which was reportedly sent to Moscow this week, would mark a striking change in US policy in the region, where the two powers have operated on opposing sides of the civil war.

The deal would see the US and Russia launch a co-ordinated bombing campaign against Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qa'ida's branch in Syria. In exchange, Russia would be expected to pressure the Assad regime to stop bombing US-aligned rebel groups, an administration official told the 'Washington Post'.

The proposal, reported to have been approved by President Barack Obama and supported by John Kerry, the secretary of state, would essentially enforce the creation of "safe zones", with the US specifying areas that Russia and the Syrian regime would be banned from targeting, rather than giving the precise locations of the US-allied groups. John Kirby, a US state department spokesman, would not deny the reports last night. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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