Recent Developments of US and Turkish Involvement in the Syrian Conflict

Sebastian Maier and Yousef Zarea

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.