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Syrian Kurds ponder Afrin’s recapture in shadow of Idlib crisis

The Syrian Kurds' partial collaboration with Syrian government forces in northwestern Aleppo has so far failed to expand amid whirlwind developments in Idlib.

As fighting in Syria’s rebel bastion of Idlib rages on, fueled by a Turkish thrust to reverse government gains, a less palpable but related struggle is under way to the north, where the Syrian Kurds are weighing their options on how to wrestle back Turkish-controlled Afrin. 

Held by Turkey and its allied groups since 2018, Afrin has been high on the Kurdish agenda in recent weeks, though the escalation in Idlib has overshadowed tensions in the region. In the words of a local Kurdish source, “Preparation of plans to liberate Afrin was already under way, but with the escalation in Idlib, this became an issue of discussion with Russia and the Syrian regime.” 

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