"Even as its ships and warplanes conducted fresh strikes, Russia said it was willing to cooperate with the United States in carrying out attacks in Syria.
However, speaking to reporters in Rome, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter called the Russian campaign of airstrikes in Syria a "fundamental mistake." He said the United States was not ready to cooperate with Russia on operations in Syria.
And yet Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov appeared to indicate Wednesday that cooperation was in the works. He said Russia was prepared to take information and intelligence obtained by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, and he called on all sides to share targeting reconnaissance.
A ministry spokesman, quoted by Russia's TASS news agency, said the ministry responded to a request by the Pentagon. It then "swiftly considered" the U.S. proposals to coordinate.
"We just need to specify some technical details that will be discussed today by representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Pentagon at the expert level," Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told TASS." CNN.com
So.... Russia is firing cruise missiles from naval vessels in the Caspian Sea into point targets in NW Syria? Now, that should be an interesting targeting process. Is satellite reconnaissance being used for this purpose maybe? I wonder how accurate the result proves to be.
Russia has now offered to cooperate with the US in targeting in Syria. They have offered to take groups off their target list that we certify are not jihadis and who are fighting jihadis. That would seem to be a fair offer, but SECDEF Carter has rejected it, while also referring to the whole Russian anti-jihadi effort as "a profound mistake."
IMO that makes it pretty clear that we (the US) have a group of mixed jihadi and non-jihadi groups that we have sponsored in the hope that they will prove the key to destroying the Syrian government.
Russian air activity continues and Russian ground forces are now in action providing fire support for Syrian Army units NE of Latakia.
I anticipate a steady growth in the size of the Russian force. I wonder if they are ready to deal with the issue of longer logistics lines if they advance far inland from their coastal bases. Such lines of communication will need to be secured when and if the Russians emerge from the area of Alawi settlement.
The attitude of the US toward the Russian intervention seems to be one of imagined great power rivalry. How dangerously childish that is. The enemy is the jihadi enthusiasm. That must be defeated wherever it is found. pl