The Russians are big players in Syria as they prop the Assad regime.The Turks under Erdogan were also in Syria supporting their own allies and fighting the Kurds who have carried out terror attacks in Turkey. Iran is the third player which backs Assad. The USA also has a hand in Syria by supporting and arming opponents of Assad. In such a scenario Putin and Erdogan have pulled up a coup of sorts with a cease-fire in Syria. This has already gone into effect and the guns have fallen silent. A significant feature of this accord is the omission of the Obama administration, which has now no role to play.

This was expected because of the frosty relationship between Putin and Erdogan with Obama. The Russians, while denying Obama a role in Syria, have hinted that a Trump administration could be involved later. This will be like adding salt to the hurt of Obama.

The agreement

The agreement reached does not include terror groups like the ISIS against who the battle will continue. In addition, any group that does not agree with the ceasefire will be designated a " terrorist" group and proceeded against accordingly. Putin has also agreed to scale down its armed might in the region. Turkey and Russia have come together after earlier enmity when the Tr Turks shot down a Russian jet last year and Putin had retaliated with a ban on Russian tourists and imports.

Erdogan and Putin are hard-nosed politicians and now they have stolen the thunder from the Obama administration. The last few days for Obama won't be happy ones as he sees his legacy being reduced to almost nothing. Hence his attempts to "box in" the incoming president Trump with actions like the expulsion of Russian diplomats on the plea of interfering in US elections.


The cease-fire is just a first step and differences between Turkey and Russia on the continuance of Assad remain. Perhaps the entry of Trump at a later date will be needed to give legitimacy to the agreement. For the moment Obama is effectively sidelined in Syria.

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