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Eli Lake

In Syria, the Damage to America Is Already Done

Trump’s impetuous policymaking is hurting U.S. credibility in the Mideast and around the world.

Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters on the move.

Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters on the move.


President Donald Trump’s high-wire act on Syria continues. Even if he manages to climb down without harming the U.S. fight against Islamic State, which is unlikely, he has already done long-lasting damage to broader U.S. interests.

To review: On Monday, Trump declared he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria but said he would hold Turkey accountable if it attacked a safe zone established for Kurdish forces. In another series of tweets on Tuesday morning, the president repeated those goals and reiterated those warnings — and then, for good measure, invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Washington.