Turkey - 01

Turkey: Afrin Escalation: Implications for Ankara’s Gambit in Northern Syria

Turkey has been increasing military pressure on Afrin during the past week in order to accomplish two main goals. First is threatening the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara directly associates with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara has been aiming to expel the SDF and YPG from the northern Syrian town of Manbij and force them to retreat east of the Euphrates River. During the last few weeks, clashes between the SDF/YPG and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) between nearby al Arimah and Qabasin have escalated, prompting Turkey to threaten the last remaining YPG pocket in Afrin.

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