What is Turkey Doing in Syria?

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 10 March 2019

Turkish soldiers in Efrin, Syria, March 2018. (AFP)

Eight years ago, peaceful protests began against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Since then, outside powers — the Iran-Russia axis, the United States and Turkey — have become dominant in Syria.

The Iranians and Russians keeping Assad’s regime alive are clearly going nowhere. The Americans’ indecision on the point is apparently final. So, what of Turkey, which is the custodian of the remnants of the armed opposition?

Turkey has carved out two areas of direct control in north-western Syria, first with Operation Euphrates Shield (OES) and later in Afrin, plus establishing command posts in Idlib, where its proxies, the remaining Free Syrian Army (FSA)-type rebels, co-exist in an environment dominated by al-Qaeda derivative Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Will Turkey stay?

Read the rest at The Arab Weekly

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