The president’s announcement will destroy any trust in the US among local allies fighting terror
Christmas came early in Syria. Donald Trump’s surprise tweet heralding the withdrawal of US troops neatly indicated the winners and losers in the murderous eight-year Syrian war. While the US never had much leverage in Syria – thanks to Barack Obama’s disastrous 2013 decision not to act following the Ghouta chemical attacks – Trump has managed, in a 16-word message, to embolden Islamic State, Moscow, Damascus, Hezbollah and Iran. In a sense, he has abandoned any western influence over Syria and handed the territory to dictators, murderers and terrorists.