Skip to main content

Turkish troops cross Syrian border near Afrin

Turkey, after bombing Afrin, moves troops across the Syrian border near the Kurdish-controlled area.
Smoke rises from the Syria's Afrin region, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Hassa, on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal - RC1E9965CD20
Read in 

Turkish troops crossed into northern Syria today, a day after Turkish air force jets pounded Kurdish targets in the Afrin region in a move that will further inflame the nearly 7-year-old Syrian conflict, deepen ethnic tensions between Arabs, Turks and Kurds and complicate the US-led battle against the Islamic State (IS).

The operation codenamed Olive Branch is serving as a balm for wounded Turkish pride, showing that Turkey can defend itself against its enemies even in the face of resistance from global powers, namely the United States. And if Turkey can extract itself with minimum casualties, the gambit will likely further consolidate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s march toward one-man rule.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.