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Turkey Reaches the End of Its Rope in Syria

Jan 15, 2018 | 22:44 GMT
Syrian loyalist fighters advance on rebel-held territory in Idlib province in November 2017.

Syrian loyalist fighters advance toward rebel-held territory in Idlib province in November 2017. Now that the Islamic State has been weakened in Syria, loyalists are homing in on the last rebel strongholds.

(GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Active U.S. and Russian engagement in Syria over the past few years has crowded out Turkey's ambitions for and pursuits in the country, but now its patience is wearing thin. Turkey's primary goal in Syria is to make sure that the two cantons controlled by Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) remain isolated from each other. Turkey had halted military operations toward this goal to avoid clashing directly with U.S. and Russian forces embedded with the YPG, but now evidence is mounting that it is planning a full-out military assault on the YPG, which would undoubtedly damage its relationship with both Russia and the United States....

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