François Hollande and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have recently recognized that betting on Obama's administration is like betting on Don Quixote's giants. Hollande, who recently visited the White House seeking Obama's support in fighting ISIL after Paris attacks, has returned empty-handed. As for Erdogan, he found himself alone in front of Putin, in the wake of downing the Russian bomber Su-24. Turkish leader was expecting NATO's support, especially that of the US, but he's had to regress and look for mitigating excuses, such as claiming that the Turks didn't know that the jet was Russian. And if they knew, they would have acted differently.


The western leaders are living a crisis, which is giving Vladimir Putin the opportunity to fill in the gaps. What happened in Ukraine, on the brinks of Europe, which remained disabled from doing anything in the face of Russian intervention in Syria, as well as the strong Russian reaction towards Turkey, prove Moscow's ability to weaken the western response, in the shadow of the almost absolute regression of the US from playing any active role.


François Hollande, seeking a stronger support in the war against ISIL, hasn't got anything substantial from Obama, who has just offered him a speech on the sweet memories he had with his wife in Paris. To be fair, Obama has also offered to boost the intelligence cooperation and stressed on "the necessity to terminate ISIL," without any real commitment on the ground, or even in the skies.


Despite this paralysis and the absence of any practical plan to eliminate ISIL,  Obama wasn't embarrassed to declare that his administration has the “proper strategy of confrontation,” which the US will stick to  till the end.

However, the only strategy in Syria is the one being followed by Vladimir Putin, which supports Bashar al-Assad.


Russian president following the downing of SU-24, took the opportunity to accuse Turkey of supporting ISIL, denying Ankara's claims that Turkey wasn't aware that the jet was Russian. Furthermore, during the Kremlin talks between Putin and Hollande, Russian leader stressed that the Syrian army and President Assad personally are natural allies in the war on terrorism. Hollande was shocked by this frankness of the Russian president, who is aware of the French attitude towards Assad's regime. Hollande in his part stressed that Assad should step down "in the context of a political transition."


However, Hollande is not the only anti-ISIL coalition member who seems to be abandoned by the US in the battle against terrorism. Erdogan has the same impression, especially in the light of Russia's strong reaction to the downing of the jet SU-24, as Turkey believed that any violation of its space should be treated as an assault on the Atlantic coalition as a whole, but it's become clear that Erdogan can't  count on current American administration until the end of Obama's presidency.


Thus, while Russia is boosting its aerial and marine presence in Syria, especially after the downing of its fighter jet, the US seems to be the biggest absent player from the fight against ISIL. Moreover, number of US raids were reduced since the start of the Russian intervention in Syria, justifying this by "avoiding a collision."

It is obvious that issues of security are dominating European agenda. France and Britain have become more concerned about the war against ISIL. This gives an opportunity for Vladimir Putin to draw Europeans closer to his line. Thus there are more European voices calling for war on ISIL, rather than toppling Assad.