As Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the ISIS-caliphate, has now fallen thanks to a combined onslaught of US-backed forces (the Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF) and Russian airstrikes helping the Syrian army, President Trump is already looking forward to diplomatic solutions for the region.
President Trump’s White House Administration released a statement on the subject, saying: “I am pleased to announce that the Syrian Democratic Forces, our partners in the fight against Isis in Syria, have successfully recaptured Raqqa – the terrorist group’s self-proclaimed capital city. With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.”
It is widely assumed that President Bashar Al-Assad will continue to govern Syria now that the major ISIS forces have been defeated, but in which role and certainly with which end-timeline of his governance in sight is another matter altogether, one that will probably be discussed between the US, Russia, and the middle eastern countries that neighbour Syria
President Trump informed reporters that the U.S. would start diplomatic negotiations to put an end to the violence and allow refugees to return safely home, whilst expressing his desire to "yield a political transition that honours the will of the Syrian people."
The will of the Syrian people of course was that Mr Bashar Al-Assad would go if one looks at the timeline of events which lead to the bloody 5 year war. Back in 2012, a civilian uprising against his regime started all this. And now it looks likely that Mr Al-Assad will stay.
Furthermore, thanks to the backing of Russia and Iran, Mr Al-Assad seems stronger in his position than ever, so there will certainly be need for some diplomatic wrangling should the political solution the US wants to see be ever obtained.
The Pentagon estimates that some 6,500 ISIS fighters currently still reside in eastern Syria and western Iraq. The war will only end completely when those fighters have also been wiped out or taken prisoner.