Russia is using Syria to run circles around U.S.

Story highlights

  • Russia courts Syrian Kurds, threatening U.S. ties to allies in ISIS fight, Frida Ghitis says
  • Ghitis: Vladimir Putin is outplaying U.S. and allies in Syria, with disastrous consequences
  • Russia's actions are contributing to a growing wave of Syrian refugees, she says

Frida Ghitis is a world affairs columnist for The Miami Herald and World Politics Review, and a former CNN producer and correspondent. Follow her @FridaGhitis. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN)It is quite clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin views the United States not as a partner or even as an adversary but as an enemy. The fact is brought to grotesque levels by a new public campaign that literally draws horns on President Barack Obama, describing him as an international mass murderer. (The Russian government denies responsibility for the campaign.) The campaign is shocking and eye-catching, like a highway wreck. But far more distressing is what Putin is doing in Syria, where he is outplaying America and its allies, with disastrous consequences.