"“The president doesn’t want this group to be what inherits the country if Assad ever does fall,” a senior U.S. official said. “This cannot be the viable Syrian opposition. It’s al-Qaeda.”
Officials said the administration’s hope is that more-moderate rebel factions will be able to gain ground as both the Islamic State and al-Nusra come under increased military pressure.
A growing number of White House and State Department officials, however, have privately voiced doubts about the wisdom of applying U.S. military power, even covertly, to pressure Assad to step aside, particularly since Russia’s military intervention in Syria last year.
U.S. intelligence officials say they aren’t sure what Trump’s approach to U.S.-backed rebel units will be once he gets briefed on the extent of the covert CIA program. Trump has voiced strong skepticism about arming Syrian rebels in the past, suggesting that U.S. intelligence agencies don’t have enough knowledge about rebel intentions to pick reliable allies." Washpost
What is this? Has Obama finally come to his senses in the last months of his presidency? If I read this article correctly Obama overruled the neocon Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, the toadies he brought with him to the JCS and the always power hungry CIA. Rather than continue to accept the Israeli influenced "Assad must Go" policy, Obama apparently has directed the DoD to begin massive attacks against this AQ group in Syria.
Will this lead to cooperation with Russia in these operations? I don't know. I hope it will. Apparently Russian air defenses in Syria have been allowing US drone operations in western Syria for some time.
This change of policy is a radical reversal which indicates that overthrow of the Syrian government is no longer a priority of the Obama Administration. Logically, but merely so, Carter should resign since his policy recommendation has been rejected.
The fight for Mosul looks to me to be something that will last a long, long time. What will Obama do about that in his remaining time?
What will President Trump's policy be in the ME? Only time will tell. pl