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The catastrophic war in Syria is nearing what could be a diplomatic endgame, as America, Russia and Israel shape a deal that would preserve power for President Bashar Assad in exchange for Russian pledges to restrain Iranian influence. Checking Iranian power has become the only major Trump administration goal in Syria, now that Daesh (ISIS) is nearly vanquished. The diplomatic discussions about Syria come as Trump prepares for a July 16 summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.The Israeli agenda, like Trump's, is narrowly focused on blocking Iran – and Israelis seem to have concluded that Putin is a reliable regional partner.Russia and the Assad regime will expand their outreach to Syrian Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, in areas where the Kurds have partnered successfully with U.S. special operations forces to defeat Daesh and restore stability.Putin has taken a decisive position in Syria at minimal cost – with a deferential Trump now seeming ready to confirm his victory.
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