Ankara may continue its operation against Islamic State deeper into Syria – to within just 50km of Aleppo, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Turkish military plans to create a 5,000-sq-km safe zone within the country.
The Obama administration is trying to keep the Syrian war simmering, hoping that Clinton will take office in 2017, said Jim Jatras, former US diplomat. She’ll want to dig in with both feet in support of so-called ‘moderates’ against Assad, he added.
The Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army has “eliminated” ISIS and other terrorist “microbes” along a 55-mile stretch of the Syrian border, two weeks after Ankara opened a new front in its Euphrates Shield military operation in northern Syria.
Turkish tanks and other armored vehicles have entered Syria’s northern province of Aleppo and shelled Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions in the area, opening up yet another battlefront within the last two weeks, various media outlets reported.
The US says clashes between Turkish forces and opposition groups in northern Syria are “unacceptable.” Washington is concerned this will take the focus away from fighting Islamic State and give the terrorist group the possibility to capture more territory.