For months, even years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened that Turkey’s armed forces and their Syrian rebel allies will launch a new attack on areas currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
With all of the foreign forces operating within Syria, it is not surprising that their soldiers occasionally meet – in times of coordination, or by chance on the road or battlefield. For nations whose policies have stood, at least nominally, in opposition to each other, these meeting might be expected to elicit reactions ranging from frosty to hostile. Continue reading →
Hundreds of fighters flocked from all over the world to join Islamic State (ISIS), lured by the promise of a utopian society. But now they find themselves in squalid jails and refugee camps while the world worries about what to do with them. Continue reading →
In the last Syrian rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkey is more influential than the Syrian government. But Turkey’s position has never been entirely secure. Run by Syrian rebels and Islamists, Idlib is the last part of Syrian territory not run by a foreign state or President Bashar Assad. Idlib’s people are not happy with their present rulers and protest against them, but they fear the government and its allies. Continue reading →
Turkey’s military incursion into northeastern Syria was never going to be popular. It aims to address a problem that only Turkey experiences and which, it seems, concerns only Turkey. Continue reading →
Syria’s civil war has proven a transformative experience for Turkey. The violence of Syria’s war pushed millions into neighbouring countries, of which Turkey was one; but Turkey felt extra pressure and opportunity as a gateway to Europe. Continue reading →
Last month, while he was preparing to attend the United Nations general assembly, the American secretary of state Mike Pompeo, made a statement of seriousness but not of significance. Continue reading →
On Sunday, the White House announced that ‘Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into northern Syria’ and that American forces, though they would not support this advance, would move out of the way to allow it to take place. Continue reading →