US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. / AFP / Brendan SMIALOWSKI
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The news conference between presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had barely ended Monday when an avalanche of condemnation in the strongest possible terms swamped Washington, its politicians and the media.Putin's ambitions for Syria have long been written on the wall: an ongoing Russian presence and influence on the shores of the warm waters of the Mediterranean, and a final say in and influence over a puppet president, who through a Russian-U.S. deal could get off the hook for all of his bloody crimes, not least the murder of half a million Syrians.The changes signaled by the U.S. president's embrace of Putin risk unleashing a devastating tsunami that could impact the Middle East, its peoples and its cultures for generations.
A country in jeopardy
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