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Turkey making itself at home in Syria

Turkey is looking less like a visitor in northern Syria as it sets up more permanent facilities and resettles Turkmens in certain areas.
Turkish military vehicles drive in the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai, as they head towards the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTX2XITU
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s favorite slogan when defending Operation Euphrates Shield and other cross-border actions in Syria is, “If you are not in the field, then you will be on the menu.”

To be in the field, to get a place at the table, is his way of summarizing Turkey’s interventionist foreign policy that relies on hard power. Nowadays, Turkey’s activities in the Syrian turf it controls between Jarablus-Azaz and al-Bab signals it has more on its mind than combating the Islamic State (IS).

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