The New York Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof on the help of Russia in fighting the Islamic State in Syria:

Frederic C. Hof, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who was an adviser on Syria to Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was secretary of state, said Russian air power might be useful in blunting an Islamic State lunge toward Damascus from Palmyra. Such a move would address a situation that has begun to worry some American officials: a potential Islamic State threat to Syria’s capital, which would be awkward for America to try to thwart because it would put the military in the position of defending the Assad government.

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