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.
Wounded Syrian children and relatives who accompany them, often minors themselves, find themselves seeking help in an enemy country that, they have been told, is as bad as Satan. Instead, at the Ziv Medical Center, they are greeted by an Arab Israeli named Issa, Arabic for Jesus. Issa is their constant companion, beginning to end, as the children are treated by Israeli physicians. "I was afraid of the Jews," Jason (a pseudonym) says. "Now I'm not afraid at all."
In an announcement that Jerusalem did not expect, Russia has signaled its intent to provide high-tech weapons to the armed forces of Syria. The problem is that Damascus remains the puppet of Iran and a sibling puppet with Lebanon's "Party of Allah." Their visceral commitment to Israel's destruction is at least as strong as their desire to defeat ISIS. Accordingly, Jerusalem wonders: will these high-tech weapons be added to Hezbollah's vast arsenal for use against the Jewish state?
Any notion of a united bloc of aligned countries standing as a wall against Iranian and Sunni Islamist advancement is little more than a mirage.
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.