Following talks with his Russian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the two nations have planned “concrete steps” to be taken in Syria, with an eye toward ending the civil war and fighting against both ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
Kerry gave no indication what that would entail, but followed it up by calling on Russia to use its influence to force the Syrian government to stop all attacks on rebel factions. In recent weeks, virtually all of that fighting has been against Nusra Front.
That must inevitably raise questions about what the US has in mind, since the US has made a big deal about this new deal with Russia being about growing concerns about Nusra, and yet they followed it immediately up with another effort to get the heat off Nusra.
Other nations involved in Syria, particularly those in Europe, have expressed annoyance that the US and Russia have attempted to make so much of the discussion on the war a bilateral issue, one from which the rest of the world, and indeed all the Syrian factions, are excluded, while the US and Russian officials yammer on endlessly without any sign of progress.