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Russia and U.S. Near De Facto Alliance in Syria

  • Assad army could cut off ISIS's main Iraq-Syria supply line
  • Kremlin aims to forge anti-terror front with U.S. in Syria
Syrian soldiers walk in the residential neighbourhoods near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on March 31.

Syrian soldiers walk in the residential neighbourhoods near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on March 31.

Photographer: Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images
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Fighters allied with the U.S. and Russia, long on opposing sides in the Syrian civil war, are both zeroing in on Islamic State’s center of gravity.

After routing the self-declared caliphate in the ancient city of Palmyra March 27 with the help of Russian air power, the Syrian army’s next major objective is cutting off the terror group’s main supply route between Iraq and Syria. Kurdish-led forces backed by the U.S. are also getting closer to ISIS’s capital of Raqqa, raising the possibility of a pincer movement that would bring the U.S. and Russia into a de facto alliance. That would have the effect of bolstering Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power, analysts say.