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The Israel-Iran confrontation is the most dangerous new factor in Syria, which has become a gruesome cockpit once again after some months of relative quiet.A senior Trump administration official this week summarized the deterrence strategy against Iranian forces in Syria: Israel must maintain its freedom of action to strike Iranian threats anywhere in Syria; the U.S. and Russia should expand the buffer zone in southwest Syria where Iranian-backed forces aren't allowed to operate.(And does Moscow have the power to deliver?) Should America use its military presence in eastern Syria to check Iranian forces?If it's unrealistic to expect that U.S. military forces and their Syrian Kurdish allies will indefinitely occupy Syrian territory east of the Euphrates, then should the U.S. begin working to gradually restore the authority of the Syrian government to that part of the country?To check Iranian influence in Syria, the U.S. needs a coherent strategy whose pieces fit together.All three are present in Syria, Roule argues.
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