For some in this border area, however, these scenes over the weekend are not unfamiliar. Turkey has been embroiled in a long-running conflict with Kurdish fighters on the Turkish side of the border, and the operation that Ankara launched across it last week is just the latest flare-up in decades of tensions. Yet Turkey has ambitious goals for its current operation: to set up a safe zone and eventually resettle upwards of 2 million Syrian refugees living inside Turkey across the border, a move that observers say would dramatically change the Kurdish-Arab demographic balance in northeastern Syria. This could serve as Turkey’s solution to its Syrian refugee population, and ease growing resentment among Turks towards the Syrians who have sought safety in the country. But with recent developments on the ground, it’s not clear if that will be part of the bargain. It’s also a rare moment of unification for Turkey. No matter how polarized the country’s politics are, there is near unanimous support for military action against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoots — except, of course, from the pro-Kurdish party. This gives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the chance to rally the country behind him… Read full this story
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