Everyone also agrees that it forms part of a movement of Islamist jihadism that is exceptionally dangerous.
President Putin's call — made at the UN General Assembly — to create a world coalition to fight the Islamic State and Islamist terrorist is starting to be heeded — though no Western leader will admit it was President Putin who first suggested it.
However, at the same time as all the Western leaders agree on the need to fight jihadi terrorism and the Islamic State, they refuse to work with the Syrian government whose army is actually doing the fighting.
Instead they blame the Syrian government and insist President Assad must go.
Since the Western powers deny themselves the option of working with the Syrian government, they have no one in Syria to work with.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's claim there are "70,000 moderate (ie. non jihadi) fighters" opposing both President Assad and the Islamic State is a universally derided fiction.
Since sending Western ground troops to Syria is ruled out, that denies the Western powers a viable military strategy.
All they can do is try to bomb Islamic State fighters where they can find them. Since they are a dispersed guerrilla force for all practical purposes that is nowhere.
This is in contrast to the Russian approach, which is to bomb the Islamic State's logistic centres — including its oil smuggling routes — whilst providing close air support to the Syrian army, all done in cooperation with the Syrian government in furtherance of a clear plan that offers a clear road to victory.
However it gets worse.
Since the West still wants to overthrow the Syrian government, it refuses to bomb the other jihadi militias the Syrian government is fighting. It wants the entire military effort focused solely on the Islamic State. Far from fighting other violent jihadis in Syria the West actually arms them so they can continue fighting the Syrian government.
This makes no sense.
Even Western governments admit the other jihadi militias are terrorists scarcely less dangerous than the Islamic State. To pretend there are three groups fighting in Syria — the Syrian government, the Islamic State and the "moderates" — is delusional. Yet it is a delusion the West stubbornly — even fanatically — persists in. To do otherwise would be to admit the whole Western narrative of the Syrian conflict — as a war between a "dictator" and a "democratic opposition" — is false.
It might not be led by the Islamic State but it would be every bit as dangerous and at least equally bad.
Not surprisingly, given the delusional nature of Western policy, many question its sincerity.
It does sometimes seem that for all their protestations the outcome the Western powers really want is the removal of President Assad, and that the campaign the West claims to be waging against the Islamic State is ultimately targeted against him.
If so then the people of the West — of Europe especially — targeted by jihadi terrorists, have cause to be grateful to the Russian people and government for protecting them from the follies of their own governments.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.