Russian MiG-29 jet fighters perform at an airshow outside Moscow, Russia, August 2015.  
Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the United Nations General Assembly, defending his country’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and casting Russia’s military buildup in Syria as an effort to combat jihadist forces, including the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Days later, Russia began a campaign of airstrikes in Syria. Washington immediately cried foul, asserting that Russia had actually targeted not ISIS but rather other opponents of Assadincluding some backed by the United States. American officials warned of the risk of miscommunications and mishaps as both U.S. and Russia warplanes

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