November 22, 2017
Trump cedes Syrian postwar planning to Putin
Journalist Michael Crowley
WASHINGTON — Six months after President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike against a Syrian government airbase, an act his aides said would give the U.S. renewed leverage across the Middle East, he is increasingly a bystander as Russian President Vladimir Putin takes the lead in shaping postwar Syria.
On Wednesday, Putin will host the presidents of Iran and Turkey in the resort city of Sochi — one of several Russian-brokered meetings the U.S. will not attend as the Syrian conflict winds down.
With rebel fighters largely routed and the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, driven from most of Syria’s territory, experts and U.S. officials say the real fight now is about a regional power struggle playing out in the country.
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