20 Dec 2018

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What does "leverage" of "U.S. leverage has diminished" mean?

WASHINGTON – U.S. troops may have driven the Islamic State from a swath of territory in Syria – allowing President Trump to declare mission accomplished on Tuesday – but experts say that America’s years-long involvement in Syria has ended in near-complete failure.

Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad, remains in power despite U.S. demands for his ouster. Syria’s deadly civil war remains unresolved, with a mounting death toll and millions of refugees displaced. Russia and Iran’s influence in Syria has grown, while U.S. leverage has diminished. And while ISIS may not have a patch of land to call its own, the terrorist group remains a menacing threat in the region.

“We empowered Russia, we empowered Iran, we discredited the U.S. in terms of its ability to support the Arabs (fighting Assad) and its credibly on the ‘red line’ involving gas warfare,” said Anthony Cordesman, a national security and defense expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

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