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The Debate

Race to the border: Syrian Kurds call in Assad against Turkey offensive

FRANCE 24 DEBATE
FRANCE 24 DEBATE FRANCE 24

Is it up to Bashar al-Assad to fill the void left by the United States in northeast Syria? One week after Donald Trump's shock decision to pull out, the Kurds have had to go cap in hand to Damascus for help. The end of their dream of an autonomous region? Most probably. But will it even be enough to stave off the Turks?

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With Assad's soldiers now agreeing to deploy to the border, does that thwart the Turkish president's plan to resettle a buffer zone with Syrian Arab refugees? Or will it still be full speed ahead for what Kurds claim will be large-scale ethnic cleansing?

With the US out, there are other players: Assad's managed to stay in power thanks to support from Moscow and Tehran. Will Russia - which doesn't want IS group fighters going its way - actively back Assad at the border? If so, where would that leave mended relations with Turkey? Turkey, which despite arms embargoes and condemnation from the West, still remains a full member of NATO.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ingri Bergo.

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