The two major antagonists, the US and Russia decided to break the ice. The Russian and American Chiefs of staff sat down together for a #Face To Face meeting in Antalya the Turkish resort on 7 March 17. They were joined by the Turkish military chief general Hulusi Akar. .The meeting was extremely important as all the 3 forces are converging on the border town of Manbij in Iraq.The town was earlier controlled by the Syrian Arab group.

The Russians have started a heavy bombardment and president Bashar's troops have made some headway and many areas are ceded by the Syrian Arab group to him. This group is supported by the USA.

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The situation is complicated as the Turks also want free passage to attack elements of the Syrian Kurdish YPG. They fear that Assad's army may block them.

Manbij

All the 3 armies are within handshaking distance of each other and this conference was to avoid a conflict between the 3 powers. It was also a meeting to coordinate efforts for the destruction of the ISIS. This meeting has been cleared by Donald and he appears to have overruled General Mattis who has some time back stated that the time for military cooperation with Russia had not come. Mattis wanted that any negotiation with Russia should be "from a position of strength".

Meeting between Russian and American Chief of Staff

This was the second meeting of General Joseph Dunford with his Russian counterpart General Valery Gerasimov within a month.

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The last meeting had taken place in Azerbaijan. This was the first face to face meeting between the Russian #Chief Of Staff and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff. The US and NATO had cut off all contacts with the Russians after the annexation of the Crimea and problems in East Ukraine.

Future

The Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim has said that "very good coordination is needed to clear Syria of all terrorist organization".He was referring to coordination between Russia, Turkey, and the USA. It is clear that only a concerted joint operation in Syria can defeat the ISIS.The battle in Syria is not a cake walk.Donald will do well to disregard the advice of the generals in future and think of out of box solutions himself. The generals have not won in Afghanistan and ISIS is far from being defeated.