In less than a week, the tectonic plates have shifted beyond recognition in the Middle East.
The U.S. counterterrorism operation against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, in northern Syria is in shreds. The U.S. military is accelerating its plans toward an almost total withdrawal from Syria, and the Kurdish troops in the northeast have called on Damascus and Moscow to help repel the invading Turkish forces.
The map of territorial control in Syria has begun shifting. Kurdish fighters who once stood side by side with the United States are now being absorbed into the Syrian army’s Fifth Corps, under Russian command. And Russia will, quite literally, move into the space vacated by President Donald Trump.
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