29 March 2018
Turkey now holds sway over a large and heavily populated area of Syria, giving Ankara a crucial say in the country’s future
- The capture of Afrin city has allowed Turkey to connect the areas in Syria under its influence into a continuous territory stretching from Idlib to Jarabulous, a region that holds as many as 2.5million people
- Turkey’s strategic priorities in Syria, particularly its desire to contain the predominantly-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) along the border, makes a long-term Turkish presence in the country increasingly likely
- However, a continued Turkish mission in Syria is likely to face several challenges, including an on-going humanitarian crisis and an armed insurgency by the YPG
On March 18, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), in co-ordination with a variety of Syrian militia groups, entered Afrin city. In doing so, they established near complete control of the enclave in north-west Syria previously held by the predominantly-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG is believed to have withdrawn from Afrin city rather than engage in sustained urban warfare…
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