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Afrin puts Turkish-Iranian-Russian mistrust on full display

More than anything, the situation in Afrin puts on full display the deep and lingering mistrust between Iran, Turkey and Russia.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani together with his counterparts Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Sochi, Russia November 22, 2017. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC11C14BA4C0

Almost a month after Turkey’s launch of Operation Olive Branch in the northern Syrian district of Afrin, there is no clear outcome. Since the beginning of the campaign, Turkey’s post-Afrin objectives remained a matter of serious concern to other players — mainly Iran — whose reaction was to distance itself from supporting the Turkish assault while simultaneously refraining from supporting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the area.

To Iran, Turkey’s intervention will only complicate the already-complicated situation in Syria and weaken the Sochi peace process that already witnessed a major setback in the Jan. 28 meeting in Russia, when the majority of the Syrian opposition boycotted the conference.

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