A Turkish Intervention in Syria: A Reality Check

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Recent events near Turkish borders have been followed by a mobilization along the Turkey border and increased discussions of a potential Turkish intervention into Syria. The Turkish press has provided various speculations on both the political objectives and military nature of such an operation. So far, it appears that Ankara feels that its national interests are threatened by both ISIS’ remaining presence near Turkish borders and the Kurdish PYD’s potential for solidifying its bid for statehood. Furthermore, policymakers in Ankara may be seeing a necessity to create a buffer zone with the aim of absorbing prospective mass refugee influxes or providing logistical assistance to rebel organizations favored by Ankara in their struggle against the Assad regime. This EDAM Discussion Paper reviews the potential goals, legality, and military dimension of a Turkish intervention into Syria.

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