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Briefing on Turkish military operations in Syria

Briefing on Turkish military operations in Syria


27th July 2017

A Turkish military operation against Kurdish militants in Syria is becoming increasingly likely, but such a move faces a variety of challenges.

  • Turkey has stepped up its presence in Syria ahead of possible military action against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia with links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that controls almost the entire Syrian border
  • The YPG has thus far balanced Turkish pressure by forging relations with both Russia and the United States, but there are signs that this is becoming harder and harder to maintain
  • A Turkish operation against the YPG is fraught with difficulties, but the possibility of limited action around Tal Rifaat remains possible

Turkey has greatly increased its military deployment in northern Syria in recent weeks, moving substantial reinforcements across the border. Turkish sources indicate that this is in preparation for a long anticipated assault on the Afrin area, which is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a military coalition dominated by the People’s Protection Units (YPG)…

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