What Can Turkey’s Intervention Into Northern Syria Really Achieve?

Turkish armored personnel carriers near the Syrian border, Karkamis, Turkey, Aug. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Halit Onur Sandal).
Turkish armored personnel carriers near the Syrian border, Karkamis, Turkey, Aug. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Halit Onur Sandal).
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In late August, Turkey launched operation Euphrates Shield, a cross-border military incursion into northern Syria to secure two primary goals: prevent the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, from further expanding west of the Euphrates and push the self-proclaimed Islamic State away from the Turkish border. A little over a month in, the operation has certainly achieved these initial goals, but Turkey’s longer-term exit strategy, and whether the intervention will expand deeper into Syria, remain unclear. Euphrates Shield has enough manpower to take small villages, but the number of Turkish troops and allied rebels is inadequate to take al-Bab, a […]

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