“His opening gambit to ingratiate himself with the West after a year of ostracism began with a singular gesture that Washington could hardly miss: dispatching a pronounced new flow of military hardware to Syria.” The NYT with a very interesting look at how Putin could be looking to improve diplomacy with West by way of Syria.

+ Quartz: The $500 million US effort to train anti-ISIL rebels has yielded ‘four or five’ fighters. (We should have been able to accomplish that with $300-$400 million, tops.)

+ It turns out the Putin/Elton call was part of a hoax.