Tensions Run High in Syria

ANNA VOVK

Staff Writer

On September 30, President Barack Obama and the President of the Russian

Federation, Vladimir Putin, came to the United Nations headquarters and clashed over their

opposing views about how to take action in Syria. While both presidents agree that they need to

work together to bring peace to the Middle East, neither one one of them is willing to

compromise and create a solution that will benefit everyone.

The two presidents greatly disagree when it comes to how to handle Bashar al­Assad. Assad is the President of Syria and the Commander­in­Chief of the Syrian Armed Forces. Putin

wants to keep him ruling over Syria, while Obama strongly disagrees. This conflict has been

preventing the two countries from coming together and creating a strategy that would resolve

the conflicts in the Middle East. “Mr. Putin talked about mounting a broad effort to support Syria’s president, Bashar al-
Assad, as the best bulwark against the spread of the Islamic State and other radical groups,

even though the White House has said Mr. Assad has to leave power if there is to be a political

solution in Syria,” said New York Times correspondents Michael Gordon and Gardiner Harris.

Obama has agreed to ally with Putin because he believes that this alliance could greatly

benefit the two countries and help resolve the conflict.

“The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to

resolve the conflict,” said President Obama, who spoke before Putin. “But we must recognize

that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status

quo.”

On the other hand, Putin is not as content with Obama’s proposal and suggestions of an

alliance. Putin proposed a global alliance to rebuild the Syrian state and to wage war against

ISIS. He also mocked the U.S. failure to deploy moderate opposition fighters in Syria to fight the

terror organization, also know as the Islamic State. The only actions Obama and Putin have

agreed to take together is fighting ISIS. “Mr. Obama came away from the meeting with clarity on Russia’s intentions in Syria, a

senior administration official said, which the U.S. believes is to fight Islamic State militants,” said

Wall Street Journal correspondents Carol Lee and Farnaz Fassihi.

The only conflicts that stand in the way of the United States taking action is Putin’s

alliance with Iran. Iran and Russia have been working together to provide support to Assad, but

to also counter the U.S. policies in the Middle East. Although this is a huge conflict, the three

countries have agreed to share intelligence about ISIS and work together to fight the Islamic

State (ISIS).

As of now the Pentagon has communicated directly with the Russian Air Force and the

two have even been testing a new strategy to ensure that the two sides’ parallel campaigns do

not boil over into conflict. The U.S. and Russia have come to an agreement that although they

have different views and different agendas, the main goal now is to defeat the Islamic State and

the only way to do so is to work together.

Putin has sent over 4,000 troops and missile systems to Syria, suspecting that ISIS had

bombed the Russian passenger commercial airplane that went down in Egypt and killed all 223

passengers. After further investigation, investigators in Egypt have come to a conclusion that

ISIS could very well be responsible for the plane crash tragedy in Egypt. At the moment, Putin

has still not made up his mind on how to react to the apparent bombing of the Russian plane.

Speaking to a conference of international politicians and analysts last month, Putin said

Russia’s move in Syria was a pre­emptive strike. Putin’s actions are still not certain, but the

outcome could greatly affect Russia’s alliance with the United States

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