The Current

Russia and France join forces to fight ISIS, Syrian civilians pay the price

This week, French politician Nicolas Sarkozy said everyone has to come together to exterminate ISIS, and that includes Russia. Tragedy has made for strange bedfellows, as Russia, France and the rest of the West stare down a common enemy in ISIS. Is this new alliance real or a mirage?
Locals at a central market targeted by a Russian airstrike express anger over Russian claims that the strikes are only meant to target terrorists. (Rami Jarrah/Facebook)

Last week's terror attacks in Paris and the downing, last month, of a Russian charter jet over Egypt are tragedies that have caused untold pain to families and loved ones in France, Russia, and beyond.    

And on the global, diplomatic stage, the two calamities have brought about a shift in alliances, one that would have seemed highly unlikely just weeks ago.

By claiming responsibility for both, ISIS has in effect brought about a new coalition.  Though Russia and the West have had a frayed relationship after Russia's involvement in Ukraine and Syria, recent events have brought the countries together on the same page.... facing down a common enemy, ISIS.  But will it last?

Rami Jarrah and locals were in the market when the airstrike took place, shaking the area, leaving civilians terrified of the jet fighters return. (Rami Rarrah/Facebook)

In Syria, where both France and Russia stepped up their attacks on ISIS this week, a Russian bomb fell on a market in the central city of Aleppo.

Follow-up report by Rami Jarrah on the Nov 18th attack by a Russian fighter jet

Rami Jarrah is a project manager for ANA Press. He was in Aleppo, Syria.

Reporter Rami Jarrah says civil defense arrived a few minutes after the airstrike took place to pull those trapped under the rubble. (Rami Jarrah/Facebook)

From on the ground inside Syria, to the bigger picture on where the new alliance between Russia and the West that we've seen taking shape this week, could ultimately be heading. 

  • Jonathan Cristol is a fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York. 
  • Piotr Dutkiewicz is a professor of Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli, Ines Colabrese and Sujata Berry.