French President Francois Hollande gestures during a news conference after the Climate Action Special Executive Session at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Valletta, Malta, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
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The leaders of Russia and France avoided each other's gaze as they made short, stiff statements in the Kremlin Thursday before talks on countering ISIS in Syria.Francois Hollande wants to unite major powers in a single "grand coalition" to fight the militants behind the Paris attacks but Vladimir Putin's air force has mostly hit Western-backed rebels combating Syrian President Bashar Assad.After a week of talks with the leaders of the United States, Russia, Britain and Germany, Hollande has secured increased political and military support for his air campaign against ISIS, which claimed responsibility for attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers that killed 130 in France.In military terms, Hollande has secured greater intelligence sharing by Washington which is already helping France hit more ISIS targets, as well as promises of refueling and reconnaissance support from Germany and the prospect of Britain joining in airstrikes, provided parliament approves.What Hollande achieved in Moscow remains to be seen.Second, it implies that any rebel force not directly fighting ISIS is fair game for Russian bombers.
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