Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning unilateral airstrikes against Islamic State from inside Syria if the US rejects his proposal to join forces, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Putin’s preferred course of action, though, is for America and its allies to agree to coordinate their campaign against the terrorist group with Russia, Iran and the Syrian army, the report said.
The Obama administration has so far resisted a joint campaign with Russia.
Putin’s proposal, which Russia has communicated to the US, calls for a “parallel track” of joint military action accompanied by a political transition away from Bashar al-Assad, a key US demand, a source was quoted as saying.
The initiative will be the centerpiece of Putin’s one-day trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, which may include talks with President Barack Obama.
Putin’s military buildup in Syria in recent weeks has alarmed U.S. officials who are still outraged by his annexation of Crimea and support for the insurgency in Ukraine, which prompted snactions from the US and European Union.
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