Last Friday, the US and Russia announced a ceasefire that is scheduled to begin at midnight tonight. The real news, however, is not a dubious hope for peace.
In China and behind closed doors, the world gave Putin the nod to partner with Turkey, not the US, for "charting the next steps in the Middle East."
At the G-20 economic summit in China, Obama and Putin met to discuss Syria. One President grimaced, the other smiled. Diplomatically, Russia continues to win; tragically, Syria continues to lose; and warily, Israel continues to adapt to a new superpower in the Middle East.
For Russia and Iran, Turkey and Iraq, and the USA, there are two irritating wildcards in the Middle East: Israel and the Kurds. Seth J. Frantzman, Op-Ed editor at the Jerusalem Post, has made several visits to Kurdish front lines. Who are the Kurds? Frantzman explains...
When it comes to Syria, Turkey could sing Meghan Trainor's tune, All About That Bass, but with its own lyrics: "It's all about the Kurds, 'bout the Kurds, not ISIS." In fact, the war against ISIS has had amazing effects, uniting the US and Turks, Kurds and Syrian rebels, Russia and Iran, even Moscow and Ankara. What would any of them do without Islamic State?