A Syrian man walks past a banner bearing a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on November 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA
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Syrian President Bashar Assad and his allies hope to benefit from Donald Trump's election win, believing it has saved them from the risks of an interventionist Hillary Clinton administration.The confidence in Damascus will have been justified if some of Trump's comments on Syria crystallize into policy, though there are questions over how far he will follow through on suggestions such as cooperating with Russia – Assad's most powerful military ally – against Daesh (ISIS).Trump has struck a different tone to current U.S. policy on some aspects of the multisided Syrian conflict, where the United States with allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia has backed some of the insurgents who have been fighting to topple Assad for more than five years.The war has shattered Syria into a patchwork of areas controlled by Assad's state, rebels battling to topple him, a powerful Kurdish militia, and Daesh.The rebels have seen U.S. policy as a betrayal of their revolt, with Washington focusing mostly on the fight against Daesh in the last two years.The ground war between Assad and the rebellion has this year focused largely on Aleppo, in the northwest of Syria.
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