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US, Russia stall Turkey's ground operation, but Kurdish gains under threat

The Russian and US policies of appeasing Turkey have averted a new Turkish ground operation in Syria for now, but they both lay the ground for a gradual undoing of Kurdish gains in the north.
A Turkey-backed Syrian fighter sits at a position on the outskirts of the town of Marea.
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Turkish plans for a ground operation against Kurdish-held areas in Syria have been stalled by Russian and US objections, but a strategy of sustained pressure seems to be taking shape to incrementally undo Kurdish gains on the ground.

The proposals that Moscow and Washington have reportedly made to appease Ankara would both shrink the area of control of the de facto Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northern Syria, though they would prevent any Turkish boots on the ground. Moreover, Turkey’s talks with Russia are premised on the prospect of Ankara normalizing ties with Damascus and the Russians using that prospect to pressure the Kurds to compromise with the Syrian government. 

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