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    Trump Neocon Advisors Might Thwart US-Russian Cooperation in Syria

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    Neoconservatives in US president-elect Donald Trump’s inner circle could undermine cooperation with Russia because they want to redouble efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, former White House National Security Council advisor Gwenyth Todd told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Michael Hughes — On Tuesday, in an op-ed published on the Rare news website, US Senator Rand Paul warned that Trump’s rumored pick for secretary of state, John Bolton, is a dangerous neoconservative who supported the invasion of Iraq and has called for all-out war in Syria, despite Russia’s presence in the country.

    "Trump will face the same risk of treachery from his inner circle as [outgoing President Barack] Obama did," Todd, a former national security advisor for President Bill Clinton, said on Monday. "Trump does not know whom he can trust on foreign policy and who among his growing entourage is on the payroll of expansionist regional leaders like Turkish President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan."

    Neoconservative ideologues and well-paid Washington lobbyists are determined to follow through on destroying the Assad regime and the Iranian leadership, Todd suggested.

    Trump must resist the ceaseless plotting of this neoconservative cabal, Todd maintained, and should work with Obama on a transition plan to combat terrorists in Syria.

    "Obama can do much over the next two months to prepare the path for a resolution of the Syria crisis by keeping Trump engaged as the United States pursues al-Nusra terrorists, hopefully in tandem with Russian and Syrian operations," Todd stated.

    Obama has been forced to conceal the treachery he has dealt with from his own team of national security advisors because of the president’s political obligation to the Democratic Party, Todd claimed.

    "Since 2012, when Obama discovered that his own intelligence chief was covering up evidence showing that chemical weapons used against civilians did not come from Assad's arsenal, Obama has had to operate knowing that he could not trust his inner circle," Todd said.

    Now that the Democrats have lost the presidential and congressional elections, she explained, Obama is free to do openly what he had previously wanted to do in secret, including targeting Nusra Front instead of pushing for regime change in Syria.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, Todd continued, should advise Trump that Washington’s dealings with Erdogan could determine US policy towards Syria and the Middle East in general.

    Last week, Obama ordered the US military to deploy more drones over Syria to take out Nusra Front leaders. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow welcomed the decision, but has yet to receive official confirmation outside of media reports.

    On Monday, Putin and Trump discussed in a phone call the need for US-Russian joint efforts against terrorism and a settlement to the conflict in Syria, the Kremlin’s press service said in a statement.

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