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In Syria, a Kurdish Attack Risks Triggering a New Turkish Offensive

MIN READOct 12, 2021 | 20:54 GMT

A vehicle destroyed in a bombing is seen in Syria's rebel-held northern city of Afrin on Oct. 11, 2021.

A vehicle destroyed in a bombing is seen in Syria's rebel-held northern city of Afrin on Oct. 11, 2021.

(BAKR ALKASEM/AFP via Getty Images)

If Turkey follows through on threats to retaliate against Kurdish militants in Syria, it will put Ankara back on a confrontational path with Russia and the Syrian regime, while straining its relationship with the United States. On Oct. 11, Turkey’s President Recip Tayyip Erdogan vowed to retaliate for an alleged Kurdish militant attack in northern Syria that killed two Turkish police officers. Erdogan said Turkey had “run out of patience” and was ready to take matters into its own hands, should other countries (namely Russia and the United States) fail to work with Ankara to deal with the issue. In response to the recent attack on Turkish police, Erdogan also appeared to hint at a potential offensive around the Tal Rifaat region -- a pocket of Kurdish militant-controlled territory north of Aleppo that has acted as a buffer between Syria and its allies and Turkish forces for years. While Tal...

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