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Why are Turkey’s allies fighting each other in Syria?

Turkey’s handling of recent clashes between allied groups in Syria has called its intention into question, with some arguing that the jihadi outfit controlling Idlib has gained a foothold in Afrin by using a Turkish-linked group as a Trojan horse.
A Turkish soldier mans a turret on an infantry fighting vehicle driving near the village of Yazi Bagh.
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Before Turkey could make good on its threats of a fresh military thrust in Syria, the rebel groups it relies on have gone to war with each other, raising doubts about how capable they are to help Turkey realize its plans for a safe zone along the border.

Despite subsequent mediation efforts, Turkey’s initial inaction in the face of the clashes and the fact that the hostilities play into the hands of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the jihadi group controlling Idlib, have sparked further questioning and speculation. 

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