Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin paid a surprise visit to Russian troops fighting ISIS in Syria. He announced that since the battle against the extremists was essentially won, he was ordering the bulk of Russian military forces to return to Russia. The US, on the other hand, is claiming that its troops would continue to occupy some 14 military bases on Syrian territory “as long as ISIS wants to fight,” in the words of US Defense Secretary James Mattis.
So the Russians, who were invited there, are leaving while the Americans, who occupy Syrian territory illegally, are staying. The Iranians are understandably not too pleased with US military bases located so close to their own troops, which are also legally in Syria at the request of the Syrian government. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but in today’s Liberty Report we have an idea of how to dial down the tensions: