With the capture from Islamic State militants of an enclave in southern Damascus, the city and its suburbs are now in the hands of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the first time since 2011.
Critics swiftly accuse the two U.S. allies of playing loyal deputies to an unpredictable American leader, viewed by many in Europe with suspicion or outright scorn.
But Syrian allies Russia and Iran call the use of force by Western allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression" with the potential to worsen a humanitarian crisis.
Trump's chief of staff implied that the South can't be blamed for trying to retain the practice in the 1860s because at the time most of the world's people favored slavery. Not true.
The former Marine general is facing harsh criticism for arguing that "lack of ability to compromise" led to the Civil War and for praising Robert E. Lee as a "noble man."
Across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, unitary states are splintering under the leadership of divisive nationalist demagogues.