December 18, 2017
Trump shouldn't trust Putin on Syria--or anything else
Vladimir Putin is a master at manipulating people by telling them what they want to hear. He's just done it again by announcing a "withdrawal" from Syria while simply resetting his forces there and promoting Russian-led “peace talks” between Bashar al-Assad and regime-tolerated Syrian rebel groups.
Putin has no intention of going anywhere. He has established strong military positions in Syria—an airbase nearand a naval port at —with 49-year leases. But the most dangerous aspect of the illusion he fosters is that he could split from Iran in Syria in a way that helps the U.S. contain Russia’s partner in propping up the Assad dictatorship.