After months of negotiations, the United States and Russia have finalized a deal to cooperate in Syria, including possible joint targeting of Islamist forces in the civil war-torn country, the Associated Press reported Sept. 9. The deal calls for a cease-fire starting on Sept. 12. If the cease-fire holds for a week, then the military provisions of the deal, which include joint targeting of militant forces from Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, kick in. The success of the cease-fire will depend on the success that Moscow and Washington have in persuading its allies in the country to stop fighting. Al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, claimed to have severed its alliance with al Qaeda. Nevertheless, its forces, and those of Islamic State operating in Syria, will face joint targeting by the Russian and U.S. militaries. Russia's strategy in Syria has in part been aimed at forcing greater engagement with the West.