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>> Syrian government forces could be about to face down Turkey's military. Kurdish officials have told Reuters they've struck a deal with the Assad regime for the army to help repel a Turkish offensive in northern Syria. Syrian state media reporting militias allied to the government will enter the Afrin region Monday.
The agreement adds to an increasingly tangled battlefield in the north of the country. Driven by a web of rivalries and alliances among Kurdish forces, the Syrian government, rebel factions, Turkey, the US, and Russia. Yes, it's confusing. Turkey and allied Syrian rebel groups launched an offensive in Afrin to drive out the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara sees as a terrorist group linked to an insurgency at home.
The US arms the YPG, seeing them as the most effective fighting force against Islamic State. But could now see them allied with sworn foe Assyria. Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad's government and the YPG have totally different visions for Syria's future and have clashed at times. But they see a common cause in combating the Turkish military and allied rebel groups.
Kurdish officials say it's possible Assad's ally, Russia, could object to this deal as it complicates its own diplomatic efforts with Turkey. How these complex relationships are navigated will be pivotal in how the seven-year conflict unfolds.