Russian strikes again expose US disarray

US Secretary of State John Kerry attends a UN Security Council meeting on settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa during the UN General Assembly on September 30, 2015 in New YorkRussia’s dramatic entry Wednesday into the Syrian war put the United States on the back foot once again and left Washington struggling to regain the military and diplomatic initiative. As US Secretary of State John Kerry was in New York trying to coordinate with his Kremlin opposite number Sergei Lavrov, a Russian officer contacted the US embassy in Baghdad. Kerry quickly protested to Lavrov that this was not in the spirit of Moscow’s promise to agree a “de-confliction” mechanism to ensure Russian flights do not interfere with US-led operations.

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