Putin, taking a page from Trump's waffle book.
Russia gaining a foothold in the Mideast all began with the outrageously stupid idea of the US invasion and destabilization of Iraq in 2003. That resulted in Iran's ascendence. Russia further encroached as the Obama administration eased out of the quagmire of the ME. I know Obama haters want to blame Obama for leaving Iraq "too early". Perhaps they have a point. In my opinion there was no good choice. Leave the ME and let Russia in, or stay and have an endless, expensive, occupation that puts a target on US soldiers. But which ever bad situation is the correct choice, the debacle began with the neocon invasion of Iraq, which destabilized centuries of Shiite/Sunni balance of power (status quo). THAT was the new twist. THIS doesn't look like a "new twist" to me.