Senator John McCain said on Sunday the US was now engaged in a proxy war with Russia in Syria, as a result of “an abdication of American leadership” on the part of the Obama White House.
The chairman of the Senate armed forces committee also said Russian president Vladimir Putin was “treating the United States with disdain and contempt” over Syria, carrying out airstrikes and “inserting himself into the Middle East in a way that Russia has not been since Anwar Sadat threw them out in 1973”.
On Friday, discussing Russian airstrikes against both Islamic State militants and non-Isis forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, which began on Wednesday and which he called “a recipe for disaster”, President Obama said: “We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia. That would be bad strategy on our part.
“This is not some superpower chessboard contest.”