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Turkey tests waters for new offensive against YPG

Turkey is itching to go on the offensive against Kurdish forces in areas east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, but the US role in the area continues to act as a deterrence.

Tensions have risen in northern Syria amid threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to intervene in areas east of the Euphrates River and Turkish artillery fire on Oct. 26 against Tell Abyad, Kobani and Zor Mughar. The Turkish attacks, which Ankara claims killed 16 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), came the day after Erdogan held a summit in Istanbul with the leaders of Germany, France and Russia.

“We will eradicate the terror structure east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan asserted, referring to Syrian Kurdish groups that Turkey considers PKK affiliates. “We have completed our preparations and plans. Soon we will crush the terror outfit.”

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