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Turkey waiting … and waiting … to intervene in Afrin

Ankara's pro-government media are blaming the United States and Russia for delaying Turkey’s move on Kurdish forces in Afrin, which was to begin July 5.
A fighter from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) monitors in the area of Afrin, along Syria's northern border with Turkey, on June 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIAN        (Photo credit should read GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Turkey has mobilized thousands of troops to combat the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, Syria, and made sure those moves were well-publicized. There were even media reports that July 5 would be the launch date. The areas around Afrin and nearby Tel Rifaat occasionally came under Turkish artillery fire to add credence to predictions that war was around the corner.

As we were all waiting for a war to break out, Ankara began to whine about US and Russian stalling tactics to obstruct the operation Turkey was planning with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Turkey began vacillating between rhetoric and reality. Just as Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria was carried out with a green light from Russia as the United States looked the other way, the feasibility of Turkey's move on Afrin also requires their assent.

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