Defense News quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on President Obama and President Putin meeting at the UN General Assembly to discuss the Russian presence in Syria:
“If Moscow is willing to concentrate any military power it wishes to bring to bear exclusively against ISIL, there may be room for coordination with the anti-ISIS coalition,” said Frederic Hof, former US special adviser for transition in Syria. “If it elects to help Assad eliminate nationalist Syrian rebels, there could be severe complications in terms of airspace deconfliction.”
John Herbst, former US ambassador to Ukraine and now director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, agrees that’s the goal. And like Hof, he does not believe that will be successful.
“If he hopes that somehow this will lead to an improved relationship with the U.S. and Europe because they will ‘need Russia’ in Syria, he will be disappointed,” Herbst said. “The West will not appreciate Moscow’s strengthening of Assad.”