Thursday, September 1, 2016

After Turkey's Syria Incursions, Questions Grow Over Exit Strategy

A week after Turkey's military launched an incursion into northern Syria, observers at home and abroad are wondering when it will end. But the stated objective of operation “Euphrates Shield” — to remove "terrorists" from the Turkish border — is vague, prompting growing speculation over Ankara’s long term intentions.

Turkish forces backing elements of the Free Syrian Army are continuing their operations against both Islamic State and U.S. backed Syrian Kurdish militia (YPG), inside Syria.

Ankara has given little indication when the operation will end. “The operation is aimed at fighting against Daesh [IS] and all other terrorist organizations, including the YPG, and cleansing our borders of terrorists and thus ensuring our border security," Ibrahim Kalin, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, said on Wednesday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the operation was also aimed at preventing the YPG from taking more territory with the aim of linking the Kurdish cantons of Kobani and Afrin, which would create a continuous corridor of territory under YPG control running along Turkey’s border.......


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