Officials: Trump, Putin to hold first summit

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to meet after US national security adviser John Bolton confirmed details of the summit with Putin. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports.

Posted: Jun 28, 2018 8:57 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2018 9:21 PM

President Donald Trump once again raised the idea of pulling the US out of Syria this week -- this time privately during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House, according to two diplomatic sources familiar with the sit-down.

The two leaders discussed Syria at length. One source told CNN that Trump believes he can strike a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a so-called exclusion zone in southwest Syria that will allow the US to "get out ASAP."

Trump said in March that the US would "be coming out of Syria like very soon," just hours after the Pentagon had highlighted the need for US troops to remain in the country for the immediate future.

However, senior military officials continued to say Trump had not given any sort of timeline and the US presence would be condition-based.

Now Trump appears intent on reviving the issue and will have an opportunity to discuss the topic with Putin when the two meet in Helsinki, Finland, next month. US officials have said Syria is on the agenda for the summit, but they have offered few specifics as to what the two leaders will talk about.

According to these sources, Trump's plan would allow the Russians to help Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad take back an area along the Jordanian border where the US-led coalition and its military partners are experiencing increased opposition from "an unidentified hostile force" in recent days despite a previous ceasefire.

"The United States continues to warn both the Russian government and the Assad regime of the serious repercussions of these violations and demands that Russia restrain pro-regime forces from further actions within the southwest de-escalation zone," a statement from the State Department said last week.

By allowing the Russians to help Assad take back this region, Trump believes he can expedite the removal of US forces if certain conditions are met.

In exchange, Trump is looking to the Russians for assurances that the Syrian regime will not massacre the US-backed rebels in the region -- allowing them to cease hostilities and ship out of the area.

He would also expect the Russians to establish an exclusion zone to prevent fighting in southwest Syria and block Iranian-backed forces from the region, the sources said, adding that kicking Iran out of Syria is a key part of Trump's plan for US withdrawal.

But even if Putin were to agree to Trump's proposal, there are major concerns about whether Russia could accomplish what Trump is looking to achieve, the sources said.

There are also serious questions about how to address the refugee situation and allowing Assad to stay in power, they added.

In April, Trump announced that the US, in coordination with France and the United Kingdom, had launched strikes on Syria following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians by the Assad regime.

But despite his intention to send a robust message to Assad for using chemical weapons, Trump has indicated he still wants to pull US forces from the country sooner rather than later, as US military leaders have said their mission there is limited to defeating ISIS.

At the time, one US defense official directly familiar with the ISIS campaign said it was unclear what the President meant by the comments, adding that the military's current assessment is that now is not the time to consider withdrawing, citing numerous challenges in Syria.

The official also noted that the US still needed to decide on a policy with regard to Assad's future and Russia's continued military presence in the county as additional complicating factors.

The President's desire to exit Syria as soon as possible has raised concerns among US allies in the region, particularly the rebel Syrian Democratic Forces, and could embolden the forces of the Syrian regime, Iran and Turkey, all of which have mostly resisted attacking US allies in Syria due to concerns about US retaliation.

This story has been updated to clarify sourcing for information about the nature of the deal.

Terre Haute
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 37°
Robinson
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 35°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 36°
Paris
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 35°
Mattoon/Charleston
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 40°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 37°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 38°
Scattered Showers
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

MARSHALL RED HILL

Image

BARR REEVE BLOOMFIELD

Image

WASH CATH VIN RIV

Image

NORTH DAVIESS SULLIVAN

Image

MT VERNON POSEY WASHINGTON

Image

DUGGER RIVERTON PARKE

Image

LINTON GBB STATE FINALS

Image

THN LAF JEFF

Image

Overnight: Scattered showers possible. Low: 40°

Image

A Farmer's Perspective

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1181144

Reported Deaths: 22607
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4722069317
DuPage763981190
Will64655885
Lake59119918
Kane50439711
Winnebago28263436
Madison27835453
St. Clair25283463
McHenry24190263
Champaign18020123
Peoria16848260
Sangamon16072216
McLean14538156
Tazewell13458239
Rock Island13030286
Kankakee12438189
Kendall1098684
LaSalle10746218
Macon9417185
Vermilion8528114
DeKalb8226112
Adams7994114
Williamson6778119
Boone591271
Whiteside5907147
Clinton556389
Coles517090
Grundy508462
Knox5013131
Ogle498773
Jackson459460
Effingham448569
Macoupin434079
Henry431956
Marion4255111
Livingston416475
Franklin413965
Stephenson407875
Monroe405183
Jefferson3969115
Randolph395778
Woodford365260
Morgan357976
Montgomery347367
Lee334243
Logan330453
Christian329466
Bureau329173
Fayette306552
Perry303357
Fulton284044
Iroquois276660
Jersey248946
Douglas242632
McDonough231440
Lawrence228824
Saline228447
Union218436
Shelby213034
Crawford200321
Bond190224
Cass187822
Pike168750
Clark168029
Hancock166729
Wayne166748
Warren166443
Richland163438
Jo Daviess160522
White160125
Washington157823
Ford157045
Carroll156934
Edgar154037
Moultrie148722
Clay142641
Greene137631
Johnson134712
Piatt131814
Wabash129812
De Witt127722
Mercer127632
Mason127541
Massac125832
Cumberland118618
Jasper110517
Menard10348
Marshall83414
Hamilton78315
Schuyler6755
Pulaski6705
Brown6606
Stark53722
Edwards52310
Henderson49814
Calhoun4782
Scott4481
Alexander4478
Gallatin4364
Putnam4133
Hardin34412
Pope2823
Out of IL00
Unassigned02201

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 659127

Reported Deaths: 12494
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion903271628
Lake48239872
Allen35663632
Hamilton31929395
St. Joseph29721510
Elkhart25306412
Vanderburgh21173377
Tippecanoe19873199
Johnson16290355
Porter15896268
Hendricks15765300
Clark11885179
Madison11704315
Vigo11538229
Monroe10285159
Delaware9815178
LaPorte9732195
Howard9030195
Kosciusko8529108
Bartholomew7412147
Hancock7392128
Warrick7389147
Floyd7172165
Wayne6616189
Grant6411157
Morgan6054124
Boone605388
Dubois5885111
Dearborn542366
Henry540792
Marshall5406104
Cass539699
Noble508176
Jackson463664
Shelby459390
Lawrence4165111
Gibson401081
Harrison397061
Clinton393753
Montgomery384283
DeKalb384078
Knox355784
Miami355663
Whitley347835
Huntington341276
Steuben337155
Wabash329776
Putnam327359
Ripley325661
Adams321549
Jasper314243
White296151
Jefferson293370
Daviess284696
Fayette270856
Decatur269788
Greene260679
Posey260131
Wells256574
Scott249649
LaGrange240570
Clay239744
Randolph225276
Spencer216630
Jennings214144
Washington209327
Sullivan202639
Fountain200942
Starke186950
Owen181853
Fulton177737
Jay177328
Carroll176118
Perry173035
Orange170750
Rush164322
Vermillion159541
Franklin158835
Tipton145841
Parke138415
Pike127432
Blackford120327
Pulaski106444
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91613
Crawford90413
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren75212
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0429