situation report

Syria: Turkey Begins Military Operation, Erdogan Says

1 MIN READOct 9, 2019 | 13:30 GMT

What Happened: Turkey has begun its military offensive in northeastern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced via Twitter on Oct. 9.

Why It Matters: A Turkish incursion, ostensibly targeting Kurdish militias it considers terrorists, raises the risk of U.S. congressional action against Ankara, including economic sanctions. It could also pose a distraction allowing the Islamic State to consolidate its forces in the region.

Background: A handful of Islamic State fighters reportedly attacked Raqqa on Oct. 9, according to Syrian activist sources, further corroborating concerns that the group might seek to take advantage of the Turkish invasion to destabilize the region.

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