Vladimir Putin Says He Wants to Join the Fight Against ISIS

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Russia is a longtime supporter of the Assad regime in Syria, but lately the flow of military aid from Russia to Syria has been on the rise. Apparently this has given rise to scuttlebutt that Vladimir Putin may be hoping to lure the US into a joint effort to fight ISIS:

Observers in Moscow say the Russian maneuvering could be part of a plan to send troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State group in the hope of fixing fractured ties with the West….By playing with the possibility of joining the anti-IS coalition, Putin may hope to win a few key concessions. His main goal: the lifting of Western sanctions and the normalization of relations with the United States and the European Union, which have sunk to their lowest point since the Cold War amid the Ukrainian crisis.

….Sergei Karaganov, the founder of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a leading association of Russian political experts, said that Russia was considering the possibility of joining the anti-IS coalition, but the West so far has been unwelcoming. “They are reluctant to accept proposals from Putin, whom they want to contain,” he said.

Karaganov, who has good connections among the Russian officials, said he doesn’t expect Russia to opt for unilateral military action in Syria if it gets the cold shoulder from the U.S. and its allies. “It would involve enormous risks,” he said.

This sounds mighty weird. Even Putin can’t seriously imagine that the US and Iraq would join a Putin-Assad alliance, no matter what its goal is. I wonder what’s really going on here?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest