Turkish officials have been pushing the idea for a long time, but US officials are saying that the latest round of talks on Syria have centered on invading northern Syria and conquering a “buffer zone” within it.
“It would be correct to say this idea is getting another look in the last week or so,” one State Department official noted. Turkish officials are presenting this as a solution to the “overwhelming number of refugees” in recent days crossing into Syria.
The number of refugees is just 55,000 people crossing into four neighboring countries, positively tiny compared to the millions displaced in the 2003 US occupation of Iraq. This isn’t the real goal of the “buffer zone” plan at any rate.
Rather, officials have recently been floating the idea of establishing the region to create “breathing room” for the rebel fighters in the country, giving them a safe base of operations from which to launch attacks on the rest of the nation. At present many of the rebels are operating out of Turkey, with a smaller number in Lebanon. Crossing borders to launch attacks has been inconvenient for them, however, and has threatened to see the conflict spill over into neighboring regions.
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