Click For Photo: http://a57.foxnews.com/media2.foxnews.com/BrightCove/694940094001/2016/07/01/0/0/694940094001_5017285129001_960b9a4b-c6c3-4c86-8e9f-b44b904be47d.jpg?ve=1
MOSCOW – The United States on Thursday offered Russia a broad new military partnership in Syria, hoping the attraction of a unified campaign against the Islamic State group and Al Qaeda — and a Russian commitment to ground Syria's bombers — could end five years of civil war. The deal, if finalized, could dramatically alter America's role in the conflict.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was to present the new ideas to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Thursday. The eight-page proposal, a copy of which The Washington Post published, shows the U.S. offering intelligence and targeting sharing, and even joint bombing operations — a pact Moscow long had wanted, but Washington resisted.
Washington - White - House - Spokesman - Josh
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Russia had to limit its targeting to extremist groups such as IS and the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, and not the more moderate opposition forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.
"There's a clear contradiction in Russia's approach to this situation," he said. While Moscow often talks about terrorism, he said it uses its "military might to prop up the Assad regime at the expense, or in some cases even to the detriment, of our efforts to go after extremists."
Proposal - Months - US - Criticism - Russia
The proposal would undercut months of U.S. criticism of Russia's military actions in Syria, such as those voiced by Earnest on Thursday, and put the United States alongside Assad's chief international backer, despite years of American demands for the Syrian leader to leave power.
Russia, which began intervening in Syria on Assad's behalf last September, would get what it wanted, leading an international anti-terrorism alliance.
Putin - Spokesman - Dmitry - Peskov - Putin
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recalled Putin's desire for a united, U.S.-Russian approach to battling the jihadi groups that have exploited the chaos in Syria and neighboring Iraq to emerge as global threats.
Much of Washington is...
Wake Up To Breaking News!