Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, November 2017.
Mikhail Klementyev / REUTERS

In theory, Russia and the United States are on the same side in the war on terrorism. Both have suffered Islamist extremist attacks on their own soil, and both oppose the Islamic State (or ISIS). Former U.S. President Barack Obama often stated he was ready to work with Russia in Syria and in June 2016 proposed a military partnership. And his successor, President Donald Trump, has consistently said that he welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s help against ISIS. On November 11, Trump and Putin confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS in Syria in a joint statement and ten days later

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

Subscribe