The United States has taken steps Syria in recent months that suggest a shift towards reconciliation with Turkey. Even if this is so, however, there is still such a deep divide over strategic outlook that these steps could be easily reversed, opening a new round of uncertainty in northern Syria as 2018 draws to a close.
The first joint American-Turkish military patrols began outside the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Nov. 1. Manbij has troubled U.S.-Turkey relations for two years, since it was captured by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that Ankara accuses of being the Syrian extension of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been fighting inside Turkey for more than 30 years.
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