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Friday, August 26, 2016

Why Turkey Went to War in Syria

Why Turkey Went to War in Syria

It’s fear of a Kurdish state — even more than the Islamic State. But things could get complicated with Washington supporting Kurdish rebels.
The United States may finally have a professional military ally against the Islamic State in Syria. The Turkish-led assault on the northern Syria town of Jarablus, which was held by the Islamic State for two-and-a-half years but was re-captured Wednesday with little resistance, will shape the war on the extremist group to Washington’s advantage.
Turkey entered the Syrian war directly for the first time Wednesday morning, sending tanks and special forces to support a rebel offensive on the Islamic State’s only remaining stronghold on the Turkish border. U.S. aircraft also backed the offensive, providing close air support against Islamic State targets — a crucial indication that the Turkish intervention had received Washington’s acceptance. Rebels declared victory within hours, suffering no significant casualties. Turkey has thus quickly achieved its immediate objective of taking Jarablus and has now signaled its attempt to push westward to “cleanse” the border area of the Islamic State.

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