President Trump is shutting down the CIA’s program to arm and train rebels fighting the Syrian government, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, a victory for Russia, which has called for the move for years.
Officials told the Post that shutting down the program, begun by the Obama administration in 2013, is a sign of Trump’s attempts to work with Russia, which has viewed the U.S. attempts to force out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an attack on their own interests.
The shuttering of the CIA program does not mark the end of U.S. involvement in Syria — Trump signed off in May on a plan to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish rebel group, using Department of Defense funds.
The Post reports that Trump decided to shut down the CIA program last month after meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.