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Why Turkey is invading Syria

On Oct. 9, 2019, Turkey launched an attack in northeastern Syria. Turkey made the move shortly after the US announced it would remove some of its troops from the region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had his eyes on the region for years. Turkey, he argued, needed a “safe zone” to serve as a buffer against the Syrian War happening just across the border. Yet back home in Turkey, there were other factors at play that accelerated his calls for an invasion that involved Erdoğan’s own political survival.

The move has recalibrated alliances in the Syrian War and added new uncertainty on the future of the region.

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