In comments today, Secretary of State John Kerry reported that Russia has approached the administration about holding talks on military cooperation in the war against ISIS in Syria. The US has not responded, and officials are only “considering” the matter.
Kerry suggested it would be a “military-to-military” conversation meant to avoid the two nations coming into conflict with their respective efforts against ISIS. Kerry once again insisted that Russia’s involvement “undermines” US goals in Syria.
At the same time, US officials have suggested that they do want Russia “fighting ISIS” in some vague way, but only so long as it is totally in dedication to US goals, which by and large are in conflict with Russia’s long-standing goals of maintaining an alliance with Syria.
Russia has maintained that its aid to Syria is unchanged, and focused on fighting ISIS. US officials, however, are increasingly complaining about the aid because they insist that fighting ISIS and imposing regime change are both primary goals, with an eye toward installing a “pro-US” faction that largely does not exist in their place.