A political analyst in Russia has deemed the decision by President Donald Trump to remove U.S. troops from Syria, effectively abandoning Kurdish fighting forces there, to be a huge win for Vladimir Putin.
Appearing in Moskovsky Komsomolets, a Russian-government backed tabloid with roughly one million subscribers, analyst Mikhail Rostovsky published an op-ed essentially calling Russia the big winner for the after-effects of Trump’s strategic decision, Newsweek reported.
“Those who are certain that Trump is of no use to Russia, should think again,” Rostovsky wrote in his opinion piece. He added that Trump and his White House Staff “can’t keep up with events” in the Middle East.
Even as he complimented his nation’s leader, Rostovsky seemed befuddled by Trump’s decision making process.
“I have racked my brains trying to understand why Trump made this possible by kindly withdrawing most of his troops from Syria,” he wrote.
Or, as a headline on the front page of the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets puts it: “Putin Won the Lottery.” pic.twitter.com/HIW1yLHnnT
— Anton Troianovski (@antontroian) October 16, 2019
“An unexpected lottery win — that’s what Trump’s mistake is in Syria,” Rostovsky added in no uncertain terms.
The president himself, however, felt that his decision to leave Syria abruptly was a very smart choice, one that would benefit the United States in the long run.
“I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the United States, strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there, our soldiers are totally safe,” Trump said, per reporting from CNN.
That assessment goes against reporting on the ground, however. As NPR reported, after Trump announced the hasty withdrawal of troops from Syria’s northern border, other U.S. soldiers stationed in the area were in immediate danger from attacks, as Turkey began an incursion in the region.
An official familiar with the situation in the area told NPR over the weekend that, amid the confusion, “hundreds of ISIS [fighters were] getting free, and we’re stuck between two fighting forces.”