David Ignatius : "The U.S. and its allies, after several years of missteps, finally seem to be framing a strategy for combating the Islamic State militarily in Syria, even as they continue to pursue a political settlement with Damascus... The biggest change is the U.S.-Turkish agreement on a plan for closing the Syrian border, with a safe zone tens of miles deep that will be secured mainly by Turkish troops. Officials believe this will cut off supplies for the Islamic State’s 'capital' of Raqqa, while U.S. and Turkish warplanes pound the group’s fighters from air bases in Turkey."
"The United States has quietly warned Syria that it will repel any attack on the forces gathering for the assault on the Islamic State. That’s not the same as a formal 'no-fly zone,' but it could become one if Assad’s air force strikes... The Obama administration hopes the new military pressure in Syria will convince Assad to accept a political process that would lead to a change of leadership in Syria, if not a full change of regime. With Saudi Arabia and Russia both interested, this diplomatic track shows some promise."