David L. Phillips writes that the Trump administration can end Syria's Civil War, but aligning with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s Vladimir Putin would have the exact opposite effect, entrenching Assad’s opponents and radicalize Syria’s Sunni majority. Phillips calls for the new administration to intensify pressure on the Islamic State through expanded assistance to Syrian Kurdish fighters, to encourage Russia to focus on jihadists rather than Syrian Democratic Forces, and to broker a ceasefire in Aleppo.
David L. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights. He served as a Foreign Affairs Expert to the State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs Bureau during the administration of President George W. Bush. He was also a senior adviser to the State Department under President Clinton and Obama.
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