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Russia's role in Afrin depends on Turkey's true intentions

As Turkish forces continue their offensive on Kurdish-controlled Afrin, Russia's playbook there seems to call for a level field and level heads.
Turkish forces are seen on Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 28, 2018.REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RC1DAC1D1470

MOSCOW — Turkey’s offensive into the northern Syrian province of Afrin has been underway more than a week, raising concerns that Ankara will open a new full-fledged front in Syria with potential implications for the region's overall security. During a Russian Foreign Ministry briefing Jan. 25, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova defended Russia against the Kurdish assertion that Moscow is siding with Turkey in Afrin.

“Does Russia have to bear responsibility for Turkey’s actions?” Zakharova asked. “We have [our own] foreign policy, and a clear attitude toward engaging Kurds into the political process [in Syria].”

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