How will new front in Syria war impact US-Turkey ties?

Inside Story began this year asking whether 2018 would see the end of the near seven-year-long war in Syria. Latest events would suggest the conflict is instead changing course.

Turkey has launched air strikes in the north, as a direct response to the US decision to back a border security force in the region.

The force, mostly made up of Kurdish troops who helped get rid of ISIL, would control the northern part of Syria. Neither Russia nor Syria are happy about the announcement, but Turkey feels particularly threatened.

It has vowed to 'strangle the force before it is even born'. And it’s with that aim that Turkey launched the offensive on Saturday, first targeting the city of Afrin.

But what are the implications of what Ankara calls its Olive Branch operation?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra

Guests:

Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Centre for Economic & Foreign Policy Studies.

Guney Yildiz, visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Richard Weitz, director at the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.

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