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US should review its approach to Syria’s Assad

18 10 4

The Trump administration has begun to roll back the president’s announced pullout from Syria. On Dec. 19 Trump said Daesh had been defeated; his officials now acknowledge not entirely. Trump originally ordered a withdrawal within 30 days, then administration officials said it would take four months, and more recently they announced that there is as yet no fixed timetable. The departure was originally unconditioned, now it is explicitly conditioned on receiving assurances from Turkey regarding their treatment of the Syrian Kurds – a demand that caused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to snub National Security Adviser John Bolton during Bolton’s Tuesday visit to Ankara.

Despite tension with Ankara, these evolutions are all in the right direction, recognizing that the anti-Daesh campaign is not entirely over and that the United States has residual obligations to its main partners in that fight, the Syrian Kurds. The change in strategy is also evidence of........

© Middle East Monitor