Turkey Masses Troops on Syrian Border, Braces for Refugees
Turkey is preparing for cross-border fallout from the ongoing Syrian-Russian-Iranian assault on neighboring Idlib, the last remaining rebel stronghold in the country. Turkey also has troops stationed in observation posts within Idlib, which it expects to deter some Syrian offensive actions. Syria, however, has continued consolidated power over most of the country after losing over 75% of it to various rebel groups, but Russia and Iran have been the backbone of these operations and their influence across the region has also solidified. At a summit last Friday, Russia rejected a truce offer from Turkey’s Erdogan and the fighting that it expected to escalate will threaten around 3 million civilians, many of whom may seek refuge in Turkey. Al-Qaeda still has around 10,000 affiliated fighters in the region, and both Iran and Russia continue to underscore their continued efforts in the region until they are eliminated.