Inside Story - What are Turkey's plans for Syria?

Turkey is launching a major military campaign in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, just across its border. It is backing the Free Syrian Army, which moved into the area on Saturday in a fight against the group that controls much of the area - Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham - an alliance of factions spearheaded by a former Al Qaeda affiliate.

Turkey wants to ensure security in the region where some of the most violent conflicts of the Syrian civil war have taken place.

During the Astana talks in May, Russia, Turkey, and Iran signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, which included Idlib.

Ankara says it isn't sending its forces in just yet, but providing logistical and intelligence support.

But could this be the beginning of more direct involvement in the war? And what will be the cost?

Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam


Metin Gurcan, columnist for Al-Monitor's Turkey Pulse.

Pavel Felgenhauer, defence analyst and columnist with Novoya Gazeta.

Joshua Landis, Professor in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

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