19: Turkey’s October 2019 incursion into Syria, Background, and U.S. Relations

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19: Turkey’s October 2019 incursion into Syria, Background, and U.S. Relations

This episode focuses on October’s Incursion into Syria and the withdrawal of US troops that was reported on the in media. However, this episode provides a much deeper understanding of the issues in the region and offers information and analysis on five points with regard to Turkey:

  1. Turkey’s strategic orientation toward the United States and Russia, and how that affects Turkish cooperation with the United States and NATO;
  2. Turkey’s October 2019 incursion into Syria, including the effect on Syrian Kurds who have helped the United States counter the Islamic State;
  3. Trump Administration sanctions and their reversal, possible sanctions from Congress, and other options after Turkey’s October incursion into Syria;
  4. Issues surrounding Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 surface-to-air defense system, its removal from the F-35 aircraft program, and possible sanctions under existing legislation; and
  5. Domestic Turkish developments, including politics under President Erdogan’s largely authoritarian and polarizing rule, and some economic concerns.

Acronyms of involved organizations:

  • PKK – Kurdistan Workers’ Party
  • YPG – Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units 
  • PYD – Democratic Union Party
  • SDF – Syrian Democratic Forces

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