Obama seeks Russian cooperation in Syria

Jul 01, 2016, 1:07 AM EDT
Syrian rebels
(Source: Global Panorama/flickr)

The U.S. sent a written proposal to Russia on Monday, offering its military support in the battle against some Syrian armed groups and in return, demanded Moscow to pressure President Bashar al-Assad to stop bombing the U.S.-backed moderate rebels in Syria. A member of the Obama administration said that the draft of the proposed deal was shared after weeks of negotiations between the two countries.

The proposed agreement stipulates that the U.S. will coordinate air strikes on Nusra Front and Islamic State militants in Syria, writes Al Jazeera. That Washington is mulling such a plan indicates the weakness of the U.S.-backed opposition forces, which have come under huge pressure from IS and Assad regime in recent months. On Wednesday, the Syrian rebels were pushed back from Al-Bukamal, an Islamic State-held town on the Iraq border.

Analysts believe the chances of an agreement between the U.S. and Russia are slim, notes Reuters. The deal would require Syria’s opposition forces to separate themselves from Nusra and move into identifiable areas, leaving them vulnerable to government and Russian air strikes.

The proposal comes at a time when casualties from Russian air strikes continue to rise. According to an estimate by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 7,000 people have been killed in Russian air strikes in Syria over the past nine months.