Syrian Civil War
As is often the case in the Middle East, third-party bilateral relationships are driving Turkey and Saudi Arabia further apart.
Weeks after reportedly telling his generals to draw up plans for a withdrawal from Syria, the US president finds himself being pulled back in.
Frantic US-China trade talks get underway, Turkey eyes Iraq’s Sinjar region, and Russian diplomats are expelled throughout the Western world.
An attack on Manbij would put President Erdogan in direct conflict with the US military and its Syrian allies.
The Assad government hammers Eastern Ghouta, Japan ups its order of F-35s, and a state of emergency is extended in the Maldives.
In a further escalation of the Syrian civil war, Damascus has vowed to help the Kurds of Afrin repel the advance of Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch.”
Tensions left to simmer for most of the war are now boiling over as Israel grapples with the possibility of a long-term Iranian presence in southern Syria.
Erdogan threatens to expand Turkey’s campaign against Syria’s Kurds, China mulls SOE reform (again), and a grassroots upsurge in the SPD calls German coalition talks into question.
Turkish forces have launched an operation against the Kurdish-majority enclave of Afrin, marking a new chapter in the Syrian civil war.
Will 2018 be the year that finally brings peace to Syria?