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Turkey threatens fragile Syria peace accord

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States is responsible for "sea of blood" in Syria as Turkey attacks Syrian Kurds; Ankara and Riyadh raise specter of ground operations in Syria.
A woman makes her way through the rubble of damaged buildings after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held town of Dael, in Deraa Governorate, Syria February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir - RTX26N2E

Turkish military attacks on US-aligned Syrian Kurdish groups and the possibility of Turkish and Saudi ground troops entering Syria could upend the fragile peace accord worked out by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) last week. The introduction of Turkish and Saudi ground forces would further risk a major escalation in the war and a whole new round of misery for the Syrian people. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Feb. 13 that Saudi Arabia was sending fighter jets to Incirlik Air Base and that both countries would consider potential ground operations in Syria. “This is something that could be desired but there is no plan. Saudi Arabia is sending planes and they said, 'If the necessary time comes for a ground operation, then we could send soldiers,'" Cavusoglu said. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, perhaps in response to a US request, clarified Feb. 14, "The kingdom's readiness to provide special forces to any ground operations in Syria is linked to a decision to have a ground component to this coalition against Daesh [Islamic State] in Syria — this US-led coalition — so the timing is not up to us."

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