As Syria’s War Escalates, Growing Risks of Regional Turmoil

Conflict increasingly centered around major foreign actors

This week of fighting in northeastern Syria saw a disturbing escalation, with Turkey bringing itself more directly into the war, and several other foreign powers at risk of being dragged in as well.

Turkey’s commitment to prevent Syria from winning the war has threatened to turn this into a border war, and there are a lot of regional interests that could be involved. Russia has warned Turkey away and almost certainly is going to limit how far Turkey can go before they directly intervene to stop them.

That’s already a substantial fight, and with Turkey trying to get the US directly involved in this part of Syria, it could kick off direct military confrontation between the US and Russia.  The US has been publicly endorsing Turkey’s action, but it remains to be seen if they’ll get themselves drawn into a war over it.

Turkey seems to be betting that the US support implies military support would follow. Many in the US are still irked over Turkey’s invasion of Syrian Kurdistan a few months ago, and that’s probably going to impact how willing the US is to throw itself behind Turkey in a big war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.