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Turkish army brass at odds over military operation in Syria

The Turkish government’s removal of two key commanders from active duty has revealed the discord in the Turkish military over the planned military operation east of the Euphrates River.
Turkish general Ismail Metin Temel, the commander of the Second army and commander of Operation "Olive Branch" against YPG fighters in Afrin visits Mount Bersaya, north of the Syrian town of Azaz near the border with Turkey, on January 29, 2018. 

The Turkish military on January 20 launched operation "Olive Branch", its second major incursion into Syrian territory during the seven-year civil war. The operation, with Turkish war planes and artillery backing a major ground incursion involving Ankara-backed Sy
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While Turkey was negotiating with the United States to draw a road map for the area east of the Euphrates River and Manbij and also coordinating with Moscow to get Russia's green light for a possible military operation against the Kurdish forces, an unusual development erupted in the Turkish army: Four-star Gen. Ismail Metin Temel, the commander who runs the Iraq and Syria fronts and built a reputation for his leadership skills during the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in Syria, and Brig. Mustafa Barut, the commander of the Fourth Commando Brigade, were suddenly transferred to desk jobs.

Turkish news outlets reported they were removed over their objections to the east Euphrates plans. The move against the two commanders highly valued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exposed the contradictions and disagreements that are dividing Turkey's top brass.

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