WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States and France need to work with Russia and the current Syrian government to defeat and destroy ISIL and deter terror attacks, experts told Sputnik.
"[The terror attacks in] Paris mean that the West has to work with Russia to wipe out the Islamic State," Executive Intelligence Review Senior Editor Jeff Steinberg told Sputnik.
Steinberg said Russian cooperation was essential to providing crucial additional human intelligence resources, or humint, which the West needs to extend its capabilities to prevent more terrorist attacks.
"The real question is: What now? Do we drop the anti-Russia/anti-China ‘enemy image’ silliness and cooperate?" he asked. "The key here is good humint, backed up by technical means."
US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande also had to recognize that full-scale Russian cooperation was essential to pressure Saudi Arabia to end its massive financial support for radical Islam in Europe and the United States, Steinberg added.
"Put the Saudis on notice that their support for Salafist fundamentalism is finished, unless they want to find themselves under the gun by a coalition led by the United States and Russia," he stated.
Steinberg acknowledged that taking this step would be a tough sell for Obama, but if he recognized that such a move was essential to prevent the terrorists from carrying out similar atrocities within the United States, he might well do it.
Russia would respond favorably to any initiative from France on coordinated action against the Islamic State, Professor Matthew Dal Santo of the University of Copenhagen told Sputnik.
"All that's needed to effect this 'repatriation' of a significant degree of French sovereignty is an independent overture from Paris to Moscow on a united Franco-Russian assault on the Islamic State — and thanks to the attacks the conditions for such an overture would appear to be in place," Sal Santo said.
Hollande’s resolve to strike back at ISIL would be tested by his willingness to forge effective cooperation with Russia, Dal Santo predicted.
"If France really is at war with the Islamic State, it can scarcely afford to ignore potential allies in that struggle. Whether Hollande will prove Gaullist enough to countenance a split with either Washington or Berlin over closer cooperation with Moscow is a question the next few weeks might answer," he said.
On October 31, President Vladimir Putin expressed hope other nations would join Russia in searching out and punishing the perpetrators of the terrorist attack that destroyed a Russian passenger jet over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all2 24 people on board.
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