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Turkey’s Kurdish sweep backfires

President Erdogan’s Syria plan has had unintended ramifications: Saudi Arabia and the UAE are now cozying up to the Kurds, the Kurds are uniting, and the Russians are guiding the solutions on the ground.
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Turkey did not gain more turf in its Operation Peace Spring. Instead, the operation instigated developments Ankara wanted to avoid. For instance, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are engaged in a proxy war with Turkey in places like Libya, have improved their ties with Iraqi and Syrian Kurds. The Kurds, meanwhile, have regressed on the ground but gained new diplomatic channels. Next, the Kurds are making headway in their cooperation with Russia and the Syrian regime. Finally, rival Kurdish parties that had split in 2011 are now seeking ways to come together again.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had several military goals: to eradicate the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and all its components; to establish a safe zone of 32 by 180 kilometers (20 by 112 miles) along the border; to build housing for 2 million refugees in that zone.

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