MILITARY

Russia fighting in Syria for a year, still at odds with US

  • FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks in New York. Kerry is threatening to cut off all contacts with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end. The State Department says Kerry issued the ultimatum in a Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016,  telephone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks in New York. Kerry is threatening to cut off all contacts with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end. The State Department says Kerry issued the ultimatum in a Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, telephone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, taken Sept. 23, 2016, a destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defense main center after airstrikes in Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals: getting the U.S. to coordinate combat operations in the civil war. And prospects of a diplomatic resolution seem dim.  (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

    In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, taken Sept. 23, 2016, a destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defense main center after airstrikes in Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals: getting the U.S. to coordinate combat operations in the civil war. And prospects of a diplomatic resolution seem dim. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, taken Sept. 23, 2016, a destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defense main center after airstrikes in Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals: getting the U.S. to coordinate combat operations in the civil war. And prospects of a diplomatic resolution seem dim.  (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

    In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, taken Sept. 23, 2016, a destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defense main center after airstrikes in Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals: getting the U.S. to coordinate combat operations in the civil war. And prospects of a diplomatic resolution seem dim. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals: getting the U.S. to coordinate combat operations in the civil war. And any prospects of a diplomatic resolution seem dim.

But the yearlong offensive in Syria has showcased some of Moscow's newer military capabilities and underscored President Vladimir Putin's willingness to go to war to protect an ally — particularly one that hosts a critical Russian base on the Mediterranean Sea.

More broadly, the offensive has put Russia at the center of the Syrian conflict, providing an opening for diplomatic cooperation between the U.S. and Russia to end the civil war.