Recently, the armed conflict in Syria has witnessed an increasing political, military, and operational role of two of the conflict’s major stakeholders: Turkey and the United States. The implications of Washington’s and Ankara’s evolving foreign and security policies vis-à-vis Syria showcase how the connotation of foreign interference has become a synonym for the intractable reality on the ground, making inclusive, tangible diplomatic compromise a daunting task. Accordingly, the paper will first outline the growing role of Turkey’s political and military engagement and its ambivalent effect on the international level as well as on a number of local actors such as SDF/YPG, NLF, HTS, and ISIS. And second, the paper will describe the two major and inconsistent reworkings and shifts of US policy on Syria in 2018 and the possible immediate and medium-term implications for other non-state and state stakeholders with significant leverage in the conflict, including Russia, Iran, the Syrian Kurds, Turkey, and Israel.
King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
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