Trump’s Syria Shift Begins as Son Meets Opposition Figure in Paris

Kassis Is Part of 'Pro-Russia' Opposition Block in Syria

Since the election, there have been talks of President-elect Donald Trump dramatically shifting US policy in Syria, moving away from supporting the rebels to focusing on fighting ISIS, with the expectation that he will align more closely to the Russian government in joint strikes on ISIS.

That appears to be happening already, with Donald Trump Jr. attending a Paris meeting with Randa Kassis, a Syrian opposition figure who has supported Russian intervention and has supported the idea of a peaceful political transition including the Assad government’s leadership.

Kassis was part of the early Syrian National Council rebel faction, but left in 2012. She participated in the Geneva peace talks earlier this year at the invitation of the Russian government, and is considered part of the “patriotic opposition” in the country, which is generally opposed to the Islamist factions.

That Kassis has been favorable to Russia and vice versa has meant by and large the Obama Administration and its allies want nothing to do with her group. That Trump is already having his family attending meetings portends a change away from supporting the war and toward supporting a political transition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.