Sudden US Concerns About Syrian al-Qaeda Could Lead to Russia Partnership

US Had Been Pressuring Russia Not to Attack al-Qaeda

Over the past couple of weeks, Obama Administration officials have made a dramatic transition in their view of the Syrian Civil War, publicly expressing serious concern about al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which rules the Idlib Province, and which by US estimates is the “largest” al-Qaeda affiliate in the world.

French President Francois Hollande also chimed in on this question yesterday, calling for an expansion of the ISIS war to include the Nusra Front. Increasingly, it seems that expanding the war is the way that much of the US-led coalition is talking.

Yet just over a month ago, US officials were openly confirming pressuring Russia not to attack al-Qaeda targets under any circumstances, noting that a number of US-armed rebel factions are embedding with al-Qaeda and fighting alongside them.

The newfound US interest in fighting al-Qaeda has some suggesting that the US might actually partner up with Russia for the attacks, as Russia’s interest in going after al-Qaeda had been a major sore spot with the US for quite some time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.