Trump wants peace, not World War III, but this news will start a new round of “Trump is a Russian agent” fake news.
Donald Trump has reportedly decided to end the US’s funding and training of so-called moderate Syrian rebels opposed to Bashar al-Assad – something that has long been requested by Moscow.
The plan to train and equip rebels opposed to Mr Assad was started in 2013 under the administration of Barack Obama, as an effort to try and put pressure on the Syrian leader to step aside. While most of the heavy weapons and cash were provided by Saudi Arabia, the CIA took the lead in the training.
Now, it has been reported that Mr Trump has decided to cancel the programme, something that will likely be welcomed by Russia, which has for years supported the Assad regime.
Let’s pick up the story with an excerpt from the Washington Examiner
U.S. support for rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad was a bipartisan, if controversial, plank of American policy in the country as recently as last fall. Former President Barack Obama began the shipments in 2013 and a GOP-led Congress eased restrictions on the program in 2016. But Russia and Turkey, a NATO ally, have accused the United States of backing terrorist groups.
“Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests,” according to the Washington Post, which first reported the move. “The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.”
Russia has denounced U.S. support for the rebel groups throughout the civil war, accusing the U.S. of commiting a “hostile act” and claiming that the Obama team was trying to block a Trump-led rapprochement with Russia.
“Overall, it appears that the Authorization Act has been adopted by the outgoing Obama administration…to create problems for the incoming Trump administration and complicate its relations on the international stage, as well as to force it to adopt an anti-Russia policy,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in December. “We hope the new administration will be more sagacious.”
Trump’s decision to end might irritate the lawmakers who voted for the 2016 defense bill, however. Senate Intelligence Committee member James Lankford, R-Okla., for instance, recently praised U.S. intelligence efforts in Syria, albeit without naming any specific covert programs.
A certain “tribe” isn’t going to like this at all. Not to mention that John McCain will develop another blood clot as he learns the news.