Here is an excerpt from the Eurasia Daily Monitor — Vol. 14, Issue 214, published by the Jamestown Foundation concerning the potential for direct U.S.-Russian combat in Syria:

Ambassador Tefft told this author he has urgent family business to attend to and will retire (once again) after returning from Moscow. Huntsman is taking over in a situation that seems much worse than even 2014. The belligerent words of Russian diplomats and generals about the US siding with the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria may be primarily rhetoric. But there is a distinct possibility of soldiers in the field who hear such aggressive statements from their leadership to overreact. Skirmishes by proxy in Syria have already happened; and further escalation involving direct US-Russian military confrontations is certainly not impossible. At the same time, an array of other pressing and unresolved issues in the bilateral relationship requires competent crisis management. While, in the midst of all this, the US embassy in Moscow could be hit by additional tit-for-tat sanctions or even an invasion by Russian special forces. Ambassador Huntsman may be facing the challenge of his lifetime.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 1: What are the latest indicators of a NATO-Russia conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.