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Hot News The Latest?As Turkey Attacks Kurds in Syria, U.S. Is on the Sideline



Hot News The Latest?As Turkey Attacks Kurds in Syria, U.S. Is on the Sideline

WASHINGTON — When President Trump met with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the United Nations last September, he embraced him as a friend and declared, “We’re as close as we’ve ever been.” Five months later, Turkey is waging an all-out assault against Syrian Kurds, America’s closest allies in the war against the Islamic State.

The Turkish offensive carried out over the protests of the United States but with the apparent assent of Russia, marks a perilous new phase in relations between two NATO allies — bringing their interests into direct conflict on the battlefield. It lays bare how much leverage the United States has lost in Syria, where its single-minded focus has been on vanquishing Islamist militants.

As Turkish troops advanced Monday in the Kurdish town of Afrin, in northwest Syria, the White House warned Turkey not to take its eye off the campaign against the Islamic State. But it stopped short of rebuking Turkey and acknowledged its security concerns about the Kurds, whom Turkey considers terrorists and a threat to its territorial sovereignty.

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