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USA and Turkey on the brink of direct military confrontation in Syria

USA and Turkey on the brink of direct military confrontation in Syria

For far too long Syria has been enduring a civil war that seems to have no end.

While large areas of the country have stabilized, giving the impression of a war that is winding down, violence has exploded in other areas with renewed ferocity, killing and injuring hundreds of people in a new and unpredictable spiral of bloodshed. Declared the Washington Post: "The United States can not prevent a resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, prevent Iran from building bases across Syria, or end a civil war that has sent millions of refugees toward Europe without maintaining control over forces and territory inside the country, just as Russian Federation and Iran do".

USA forces there have helped to drive out ISIS from the town and aim to stabilize the region to prevent ISIS from returning. Ostensibly, the troops will fight Islamic State remnants and combat Iranian influence.

What's Israel doing in Syria? It was the most serious flare-up between the neighbors since fighting began in Syria in 2011. But Washington has expressed concern about the Olive Branch operation and urged restraint from Turkey.

Iraq was shattered following the 2003 USA invasion and the resulting occupation and civil war.

In January, Turkey had launched a major military offensive, codenamed "Operation Olive Branch", against Kurdish insurgents in Syria's Afrin and Manbij, the area where Washington has deployed its personnel in training capacity.

The Erdogan government is particularly angry over the US military's support for the so-called People's Protection Units, a mainly Kurdish group known by the acronym YPG.

When President Barack Obama started bombing Syria in 2014, he enjoyed bipartisan support in Washington, D.C. Americans were appalled by the atrocities of the Islamic State, which had massacred Yazidis, and seized swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey has also warned the U.S. to remove its troops from the YPG-held town of Manbij as it threatens to expand its offensive towards the town east of Afrin.




Residents speak of a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation, adding that medical supplies are running low. Last week, an Israeli fighter jet was carrying out a raid against an Iranian drone control facility in Syrian deserts when it came under Syrian anti-aircraft fire. "We will defend ourselves", said Funk to the New York Times.

Turkey fears that gains made in recent years by Kurds in Syria have "undercut" past successes that the Turkish military has had against Kurdish separatists, Mr. Stein said.

Rebels regularly fire rockets into the regime-controlled capital.

The commissioner said the "no-holds-barred nature" of the assault included attacks on nine medical facilities and the death of 277 civilians between February 4 and February 9 in both Idlib and Eastern Ghouta. Now the president is going all in, planning an extended occupation and expansive nation-building program, and risking conflict with multiple antagonists.

A Turkish prosecutor launched a terrorism investigation into the new co-leader of the pro-Kurdish opposition on Monday, a day after she was elected, accusing her of speaking against Turkey's offensive in Syria.

43 terrorists "neutralized" in overnight airstrikes, Turkish military says. But analysts note the Trump administration still has not appointed an ambassador to Ankara and is showing no sign of yielding to Turkish demands relating to American backing of the Kurds.

US officials have said that Tillerson expects to have hard conversations when he visits Turkey on Thursday and Friday, given that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have starkly diverging interests in Syria.

But Cavusoglu also questioned the U.S commitment to fight the Islamic State, claiming it is not attacking Islamic State members in Syria as an excuse to continue working with the YPG terrorist group. "I mean, I don't care whether you're Israel or Lebanon, you're Jordan, Iraq or Turkey, you have legitimate political, you have legitimate security concerns", he said. Syria is peripheral to America economically and militarily.

Funk and Maj. Gen. Jamie Jarrard who is a commander for USA -led coalition forces in the region visited northern Syrian last week. The area had been a stronghold of IS militants until late previous year.