If Putin is able to persuade Saudi King Salman to accept Assad’s return to the Arab League summit — and calm the animus between Iran and Saudi Arabia — the Russian leader's reputation in the Arab world will soar.
Trump's enemies have almost destroyed his understanding with Putin regarding Syria. Now the question is whether or not Trump can break through his enemies' sabotage of his nascent Middle East policy. Governments in Tehran, Riyadh, Ankara, Damascus, Beirut, Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Jerusalem are bracing to jump either way.
Apparently, the larger framework of Trump's support for Israel is a coalition of armed forces to defeat ISIS throughout the region - and to push Iran back inside its borders. With "consequences that are unforeseen," the prospect of a long-term, international army is a Trump-Putin "earthquake" that is "sending tremors through Middle East."
Apparently, the US is reasserting its presence in the Middle East - in partnership with Russia. The move effectively coronates Putin as the superpower sovereign of the Middle East. Putin, in turn, and for now, is shutting down Iran and its proxies in Syria.
It would be a mistake to think there is, or will be, smooth sailing between Jerusalem and Trump's new administration in Washington D.C. When Netanyahu meets with the new US president, he will have four pressing concerns.