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Ankara Calculates the Risks of an Offensive in Northeastern Syria

Mar 9, 2019 | 14:00 GMT
A column of armored Turkish military vehicles proceeds along a road in a demilitarized zone in the western countryside of Syria's Aleppo province on March 8, 2019.

A column of armored Turkish military vehicles proceeds along a road in a demilitarized zone in the western countryside of Syria's Aleppo province on March 8, 2019. Ankara is threatening to advance further into a crowded Syrian theater.

(OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

With the United States on the cusp of a significant withdrawal from northern Syria and Turkey continuing to court better relations with Russia, Ankara is gearing up to cross its southern border to pursue its cherished goal of taking on the Syrian Democratic Forces. But even as Turkey might soon enjoy clear sailing into northeastern Syria to seek to drive the Syrian Democratic Forces away from key positions, particularly around the Euphrates, pitfalls remain. From remaining U.S. forces to possible Russian resistance, Ankara's likely offensive into the area could even drag it into a dangerous conflict with the numerous other countries involved in Syria....

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