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For the better part of three years, this writer has recommended an accelerated battle against Daesh (ISIS) in eastern Syria, one that would replace the pseudo-caliphate with a governance arrangement featuring reconstituted local councils, Syrian civil servants possessing needed skills, and the mainstream Syrian opposition – including the Turkish-supported Syrian Interim Government.Ideally an administrative combination could be found for stabilizing eastern Syria that would enable the United States and its allies to recognize a new government for all of Syria, relieving Washington and others of recognizing a murderous criminal enterprise as a government entitled to a seat at the United Nations.The Trump administration and Ankara know whether the United States made the maximum effort to involve Turkey and the Syrian opposition element Ankara supports – the Syrian Interim Government – in the post-Daesh governance of non-Kurdish parts of eastern Syria.What is missing from the eastern Syrian equation is any meaningful American outreach to a Syrian opposition that has faithfully adhered to the American-supported, United Nations-supervised Geneva peace process; an opposition that has demonstrated unceasing creativity in producing ideas ranging from using eastern Syria as a laboratory for the "transitional governing body" mandated by the 2012 Geneva Final Communique to ways and means of binding Syrian Kurds to a unitary Syria featuring empowered local governance for all.
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