Escalating to Deescalate? Why Turkey Is Targeting Syria’s Army

People inspect damaged buildings following three airstrikes allegedly carried out by Russian warplanes targeting the Shami Hospital in rebel-held Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 30, 2020 (DPA photo by Anas Alkharboutli via AP Images).
People inspect damaged buildings following three airstrikes allegedly carried out by Russian warplanes targeting the Shami Hospital in rebel-held Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 30, 2020 (DPA photo by Anas Alkharboutli via AP Images).
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For the first time in Syria’s nine-year war, the Turkish military this week launched direct attacks on the Syrian army. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he ordered howitzers and F-16 fighter jets to hit President Bashar al-Assad’s forces near the Turkish border in response to the killing of eight Turkish soldiers in Idlib province in northwestern Syria. “We are determined to continue our operations to ensure the safety of our country, our nation and our brothers in Idlib,” Erdogan warned. Turkey’s defense minister, Gen. Hulusi Akar, later claimed 76 Syrian soldiers were “neutralized” in attacks on more than […]

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