Washington, Moscow dispute whether Russian strikes targeted “moderate” or “jihadi” Syrian rebels UPDATED [WAPO]
Moscow claims they attacked ISIL and al-Nusra (al-Quaeda affiliate).
Washington claims Russian strikes targeted the Free Syrian Army, FSA, who signed a cooperative non-aggression pact with ISIL and al-Nusra (al-Quaeda offspring), a year ago, so they could help each other overthrow Assad, as well as Tajamu Alezzah (who are they?)
My 2 cents:
This kind of thing is inevitable, considering it is a 3 or 4 way conflict.
I am with those who say that if you want IS/Nusra not to win, you would have to accept that the existing Syrian government would win, at least in those parts of Syria which are the home turf of Assad’s ruling party. Thus even supposedly “moderate” rebels who fight Assad’s government are essentially setting the stage for IS to take over, since IS/Nusra have an undefeated record when going head-to-head vs the “moderates” (except for the Kurds, who have no ambition to take over the entire country). Based on the last 15 years, my confidence in Washington’s ability to manage this type of situation is near zero.
Update, for additional color:
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/10/short-and-sharp-which-groups-did-the-russians-target-in-syria-.html [Disclaimer – I don’t necessarily approve of some stuff on SST]