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Skirmishing Over Syria: Putin, Iran and Assad Test the Trump Administration
The US needed to send a deterrent message or Syrian President Bashar Assad will continue to press his offensive across SDF-held territory. Mr Assad and his allies in Moscow and Tehran know that ISIS's days controlling Raqqa in Syria are numbered. They want to assert control over as much territory as possible in the interim, and that means crushing the SDF. Russia also suspended a hotline between the two armed forces designed to reduce the risk of a military mistake.
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