In ramping up its military involvement in Syria's civil war, Russia appears to be betting that the West, horrified by the Islamic State group's spread and an escalating migrants crisis, may be willing to quietly tolerate President Bashar Assad for a while, perhaps as part of a transition.
The logic is that prioritizing the fight with the jihadis means accepting Assad as the less bad option despite his own brutal acts, and might produce a more effective and coordinated fight in the air and on the ground.
09:13 Montenegro at crossroads: toward the West, or back to Russia23
13:58 Gunman in Ukraine kills Putin foe in attack denounced as ‘state terrorism’19
00:38 Manafort is gone, but his business associate remains a key part of Trump’s operation11
07:48 Assad ally Russia summons Israeli diplomat over Syria strike20