An Isolated Erdogan Learns the Cost of Hubris in Idlib

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling party in parliament, in Ankara, March 4, 2020 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling party in parliament, in Ankara, March 4, 2020 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Russia on Thursday, seeking to persuade President Vladimir Putin to help stem disaster in Syria’s Idlib province. Turkish forces are locked in fierce combat there with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army in what has become the last bastion of the armed rebels fighting the regime. Before the trip, Erdogan made two other related moves to strengthen his hand. First, he pleaded with NATO to come to his aid. Then, to increase his leverage with his European allies, he opened Turkey’s borders for Syrian refugees to cross into Greece, raising the specter of another […]

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