Skip to main content

Pentagon eyes shrinking role in Syria as Trump and Putin negotiate deal

Syrian rebels have presented the White House with military options to push back against Bashar al-Assad’s gains in the southwest, Al-Monitor has learned.
U.S. soldiers drive a military vehicle on the road connecting al-Rai town to Azaz city, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - S1BEUFBZQFAE

The US military is bracing for a diminished role in Syria as President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin on Monday, days after Bashar al-Assad’s forces raised their flag over the birthplace of the Syrian revolution.

In the lead-up to the leaders’ summit in Helsinki, the State Department’s Near East Affairs Bureau appears ready to give up on a cease-fire zone in southwest Syria that has already been significantly truncated by Assad’s recent victory in Daraa. National security adviser John Bolton, however, is pushing for a more aggressive US posture against Assad ally Iran.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.