"On December 27, UK Army Major General Felix Gedney, deputy commander of strategy and support in the US-led coalition, announced during a press briefing that the coalitions will not conduct operations in the areas held by the Damascus government.
“We will continue to prevent conflicts with Russians, but we don’t intend to continue operations in areas controlled by Assad,” Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney said, according to the Russian news agency Sputnik.
During the briefing, Maj. Gen. Gedney also accused the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) of allowing ISIS fighters to move through its areas north of the US-led coalition base in al-Tanaf, near the Syrian-Iraqi border. Moreover, the US-led coalition commander called on the SAA to clear these areas from ISIS.
“We are seeing the movement of a limited number of militants westwards. They seem to be moving with impunity through the regime-held territory, showing that the regime is clearly either unwilling or unable to defeat Daesh [ISIS]within their borders,” Maj. Gen. Gedney said.
The US-led coalition is trying to establish the current situation in eastern Syria as a de-facto border between the SAA and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This could be the first step in a US plan to separate the SDF-held areas from Syria in order to form a Kurdish-dominated enclave within the country." SF
Pilgrims, we have been indicating here at SST that there is a tacit understanding between DJT and the Rooshians as to a desired outcome in Syria. Like just about all successful lone wolf entrepreneurs he does not tell "his people," (in this case; Tillerson, McMaster, Mattis et al) what he is really going to do. From his point of view, why should he? They probably would try to foist some fancy-pants theory off on him when all he wants is a good deal. From his point of view they are all flunkies. Haley may think what he tell her is literally true. She doesn't care. The big apartment in the Waldorf Towers is its own reward. No wonder he wants fewer bureaucrats! Ah, a revelation!
In this case, the war in Syria will end with the "processing" of yet more jihadis by the SAG and its allies (R+6) in a variety of pockets around the country and generally west of the Euphrates watershed. Idlib will continue to be a main focus. While that occurs the US led coalition will hang onto the country east of the Euphrates and north of Raqqa until the various diplomatic processes yield an agreement that contains an autonomous area for the SDF/YPG. Turkey will not be happy, but tant pis pour eux. I never said that Turkey would be successful in using its weapons purchases as leverage against Russia. Russia is too big, too near and probably offers the best deals for that to work, and they have Putin.
My friends tell me that actual foreign policy in the DJT era rolls downhill from The Boss wherever he might be and often arrives at theater level as an unexplained surprise. Well, tant pis pour eux aussi. In this case a Brit general was sent out to talk about this policy so that the Americans (probably unhappy about it) would not have to do so. pl