Photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 shows a target hit during Russian air raid in Syria. (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
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The tide of global rage against ISIS lends greater urgency to ending the militants' ability to operate at will from a base in war-torn Syria.Portraying himself as the only viable alternative to militant rule, Assad has labeled all his enemies "terrorists" – a designation that, in the wake of the recent attacks on civilians by ISIS, may find greater resonance.Britain's former military chief, Gen. David Richards, echoed that sentiment, saying in a BBC interview that a cease-fire in Syria could allow Assad and his military to take a leading role in battling ISIS.The fact remains, though, that the United States and its allies don't want to see Assad benefit from any effort to dislodge ISIS from territory it controls in Syria – unlike in Iraq, where the Baghdad government is considered legitimate by the world community.Foreign ministers of 19 countries met in Vienna after the Paris attacks and set a Jan. 1 deadline to start negotiations between Assad's government and opposition groups for ending a conflict that has killed more than quarter of a million people.
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