Apparently, Trump and Putin have done more than greet one another on the phone. According to DEBKAfile, they have struck a deal regarding Syria. Under that deal, Iran and its proxies must depart, leaving the US in charge of security along Syria's border with Israel. On the other hand, it solidifies Russia's presence in the Middle East. Moscow is not about to leave.
Three days ago, while Abbas was on his way to Rome and world leaders were making their way to Paris, the Secretary-General of the PA was in Russia. While there, he confirmed that Abbas is "ready" for face-to-face negotiations — in Moscow. Russia's government-owned news agency, TASS, reports.
What are Russia's true intentions in Syria? Maintain the status quo, playing off its tensions? Or complete regime victory for Assad? If the latter, writes Jonathan Spyer, "there is trouble ahead."
Why is there such heated difference between America's intelligence community and President-elect Trump - about Russia? According to an Israeli intelligence news service, the brouhaha is being orchestrated by President Obama who plans to actively oppose Trump after he takes office on 20 January. The implications for fighting terror in the Middle East, and their attending risks for igniting a world war, are profound.
Recognizing the new superpower in the Middle East, Israel continues close coordination of its unstated affairs in the Middle East. Meanwhile, as the Obama administration lashes out at Netanyahu in its final days, Donald Trump may be inviting Netanyahu to to his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States.