Trump Starts Working Secretly with Russia in Syria – Ahead of FBI Probe

The testimony presented by FBI Director James Comey Monday, March 20, to the House Intelligence Committee – and his promise to “follow the facts wherever they lead” in probing any links between Donald Trump‘s campaign associates and Russia – are forcing the US president to hold back on his new foreign policy initiatives. He faces a special problem with his intended cooperation Russia in Syria for stamping out Islamic terrorism.
This intent he laid out in early February during a Fox News interview: “It’s better to get along with Russia than not,” Trump said once again. “And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world, that’s a good thing.”
However, the crunch is already here for a concerted assault on ISIS in its Iraqi and Syrian lairs. It comes at the very moment that his campaign – and possibly he himself – is the subject of an FBI investigation. Because Comey’s “facts” may lead his probe overseas, President Trump can’t afford to work openly with President Vladimir Putin lest he be accused of continuing the improper links with the Kremlin that were allegedly initiated by his campaign associates, specifically Mike Flynn, his sacked national security adviser.
Before Comey’s testimony, Trump had held back from teaming up with Moscow. Since then, he is doubly cautious.
Nevertheless, as DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources can now reveal, the Trump administration felt compelled to initiate covert steps with Russia in Syria when he saw events in that country – and the Middle East at large – spinning out of America’s control. Had he waited for the FBI director to finish his work, US interests in the region would have continued to go by the board, as they did under the previous administration, and Russia would take over. Therefore the Trump administration decided to step in quietly and establish a new base in Syria as a US foothold to counterbalance the strong Russian military presence.
Moscow reciprocated by meeting one of Trump’s key conditions for their collaboration – an effort to get Iran and its proxies thrown out of Syria.
The covert steps the Trump administration and the Kremlin have taken together are revealed here:
1. The US and Russia have each established a new base in Syria.
2. The two powers have joined up to build a new Syrian Kurdish army.
3. The US and Russian air forces are operating separately but in coordination.
4. It was agreed that the political resolution of the Syrian conflict would be left to Moscow.
5. The foreign forces fighting in the Syrian war are to be blocked out. This applies to Iran, Turkey and Hizballah.
In pursuance of these consensual steps, a Russian armored contingent entered the Kurdish canton of Afrin in northern Syria on Monday, March 20 and struck camp at Kafr Janneh, a village on the Turkish border. A spokesman of the Kurdish YPG militia in the Syrian Kurdish capital of Qamishli announced that the Russians would train the militiamen.This step followed the American armored convoy which last week took up position outside Manjib, another North Syrian key town.
The Russians have denied setting up a base at Kafr Janneh. However, DEBKA Weekly’s military and intelligence sources affirm that this is exactly what they are doing. The base is destined to house Russian special operations (spetsnaz) and artillery units, in line with an agreement reached secretly two weeks ago by the Russian commander in Syria, Lt. Gen. Alexander Zhuraviev, with the heads of the Syrian Kurdish YPD party and commanders of its military wing, the YPG.
They also determined the number of Russian instructors who would train the Kurdish militia in anti-terror warfare tactics.
While the Russian troops’ move into Afrin received some publicity, the arrival of American troops in the northeastern Syrian town of Al-Malikiyah was kept under close wraps – even from some senior officials in Washington.
The secret is now revealed exclusively by our military sources.
The small town of Al-Malikiyah (pop: 130,000) is at the center of the Hasaka Governate in the northeastern corner of Syria, roughly 20km west of the Tigris River which defines the triple borders of Syria, Turkey and Iraq. Its inhabitants are a mixture of Kurds, Assyrians, Arabs and Armenians.
The US army’s secret plan is to plant special operations forces in the new base and keep them on standby for deployment wherever needed. They will be moved from place to place by transport helicopters escorted by attack choppers.
Al-Malikiyah will be the second US military facility in Syria after Remeilan in the Kurdish region near the Iraqi and Turkish borders.
The map attached to this article shows how the American and Russian military presence is split between two ends of an arc that covers northern Syria and allows them to wield joint control over the Kurdish enclaves, the passage to Iraq and access to the Mediterranean. This beefed up US-Russian muscle in Syria gives the two world powers leverage to accomplish their shared tasks of deterring Turkey from military action to harm the Kurds of Syria, mounting a grand offensive to eliminate the ISIS grip on Syria and Iraq and, eventually, for shutting the Syrian door to Iran and its puppets.
The US and Russian commands in Syria are working in concert on their overall objectives, but preserve their independence of action in day-to-day operations on the ground. This separation of tasks is conspicuous in the American preparations for an offensive to drive ISIS out of its Syrian stronghold at Raqqa.

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