Pre-Putin Summit Positioning? U.S. Leaves Syrian Rebels Out to Hang, by Tom Luongo

Is Trump easing the US out of Syria? From Tom Luongo at

The more I think about a Trump-Putin summit, the more I believe that it should focus on Syria.  If reports this morning are true (which they likely are not), that Trump doesn’t want to run in 2020 but would rather get the job done, whatever that means, in one term, then this is absolutely the topic of highest priority between him and Putin.

And up until this weekend that was simply my personal wish.  There was no supporting evidence for it.  Now, there may be.

Over the weekend an apparent letter from the U.S. Embassy in Amman was posted by Sam Heller stating that the Syrian rebels in the deconfliction zone in Dara’a should no longer expect any support from the U.S.

This letter, if real, comes at the same time as the Syrian Arab Army launched its offensive to retake the region.  Most notably, we haven’t heard one peep out of Israel in protest over this, other than the boilerplate stuff about Iran not being involved.

But, with Hezbollah forces on the ground there and still no airstrikes by the Israelis, I’d say that the campaign to regain the area up to the Golan Heights and the Jordanian border has everyone’s blessing.

This, to me, would signal why Trump is pushing for a summit with Putin in July.  No other matter is pressing in this time frame that requires the two to talk.  And like Kim Jong-un’s displays of good faith ahead of his summit with Trump, Trump is giving Putin some peace of mind over Syria.

It also shows that no matter how much he bloviates and thinks he sets policy in the region, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the mercy of both his U.S. and Russian benefactors.

And this letter tells him all he needs to know about the limit of the U.S.’s support for Israeli regional ambitions.

The Dara’a campaign is a perfect opportunity for both leaders to show their willingness to lead and guarantee the behavior of their proxies to each other.

To continue reading: Pre-Putin Summit Positioning? U.S. Leaves Syrian Rebels Out to Hang

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