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How US airstrikes are affecting Moscow's Syria policy

A central goal of Russia's Syria policy is to relegitimize the Syrian regime in the eyes of the United States and its allies in the region, and oblige them to recognize it as an ally in the fight against extremism.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin votes in the United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3QE4L

Nowadays, skepticism is growing among Russians about the likelihood that the United States and its coalition allies can put an end to the Islamic State (IS) with airstrikes alone, as is alarm at the increasing number of citizens from several Arab countries and members of Islamist organizations who sympathize with the caliphate project.

IS practice tells us in increasingly convincing terms that we are dealing with a state-building project, rather than just the conspiracy of fanatics. As it is known, the number of Islamist organizations that have joined or merged with IS has already passed the dozen mark. The most serious in this series of declarations of allegiance is that of the Taliban leadership, which suggests a de facto extension of IS jurisdiction to Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is not just a franchise, like al-Qaeda.

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