President Trump Ends Covert Plan To Arm Syrian Rebels, Russia Has Pushed U.S. To End Program | TIME

Video published on Jul 20, 2017 via the TIME YouTube channel – President Donald Trump has decided to halt the CIA’s years-long covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the regime of the nation’s president Bashar al-Assad. Russia had long pushed the United States to end the program.

Article from TIME.com – President Trump Ends Covert Plan to Arm Syrian Rebels, Report Says
Associated Press – Jul 19, 2017

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump has decided to halt the CIA’s years-long covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the regime of the nation’s president Bashar al-Assad. Russia had long pushed the United States to end the program.

The phasing out of the secret program was reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday. Officials told the newspaper that ending the operation reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia.

The program was a key component begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to relinquish power. But even its supporters have questioned its usefulness since Moscow sent forces in Syria two years later.

Russia long saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. Ending the plan, in addition to appeasing Russian President Vladimir Putin, is also an acknowledgment of the United States’ limited ability to remove Assad from power.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment on the reported end of the program and said she did not know if it was discussed during a pair of conversations — including one just revealed on Tuesday — that Trump had with Putin at an international summit earlier this month.

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