I'm sure Rachel will cover it at some point but to your dismay someone already has. (Foreign Policy News) For your reading comprehension and if you can concentrate long enough read it in its entirety.:
U.S. President Donald Trump at his July 16 summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syria was at the top of the private meeting agenda. Trump is reportedly eager for a deal in which Russia would use its influence to contain Iran’s expanding military presence in Syria, especially close to Israel’s northern border. In exchange, the United States would consent to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reconquest of most of the country, acknowledge Russia’s role as Syria’s dominant outside power, and commit to the withdrawal of several thousand U.S. troops from key terrain they currently hold in southern and eastern Syria. The Assad regime, with full Russian and Iranian backing, has for months been engaged in a systematic campaign to reassert its control over rebel-held areas of western Syria. This includes a series of four so-called de-escalation zones that Russia negotiated last year to great fanfare. At the time, these were sold as areas where cease-fires would be enforced, humanitarian aid delivered, and the conditions set for an eventual political settlement to the conflict. Instead, Assad and his foreign patrons have methodically gone about the business of blatantly violating these agreements, attacking and dismantling the zones one by one, and starving, terrorizing, gassing and murdering their inhabitants into submission. And what has been the U.S. response to this Russian-backed campaign of butchery? Save for the obligatory expressions of deep concern, and a pinprick strike in April to punish Assad for a particularly egregious use of chemical weapons, the Trump administration has been all but missing in action, a passive bystander to war crimes and genocide in the heart of the Middle East — a region whose stability and security were once viewed as vital to American interests.