Deterring chemical weapons is important, but America must do more in Syria to affect the war’s outcome, and must use tools beyond the military instrument.

The Assad-Russia-Iran coalition has been relocating its military assets and personnel in advance of an expected U.S.-led military operation intended to deter future use of chemical weapons.

The U.S. cannot drive a wedge between Russia and Iran in the near term. Tehran and Moscow share an overarching objective to expel the U.S. from the Middle East which will likely bind Iran and Russia together into an enduring partnership.

The U.S. and its allies cannot focus too narrowly on any one form of possible future war with Russia in Europe. Russia's Vladimir Putin is working hard to create options in all forms of warfare, while continuing to demonstrate a preference for low-cost approaches.

Syrian YPG forces ceded Afrin City to Turkey in March 2018. Going forward, Russia and Iran will seek to use Turkey's northern Syria campaign to undermine the U.S. and may encourage Turkey to conduct operations in areas that would make U.S. forces vulnerable.

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