Briefing on Syria and the limits of Turkey – Russia relations


30 August 2018

Developments in Syria are exposing the potential limits of the Turkey – Russia relationship

  • Turkey is seeking to consolidate its influence in north-west Syria, where it has taken responsibility for the remaining areas under rebel control
  • Russia has indicated it will support an offensive to bring the territory back under the Assad regime’s control
  • Ankara must either make concessions to Moscow or risk a conflict that could see it gradually excluded from a final settlement in Syria

Turkey has been one of the main sponsors of the Syrian opposition, providing military support and training to a variety of rebel factions from 2011 onwards. But as the chances of the Assad regime being deposed have decreased, Turkey has increasingly mobilised the armed groups under its patronage to create a sphere of influence in north-west Syria…

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