Turkey seeks allies' support for ground operation as Syria war nears border




 
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February 17th, 2016  
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Topic: Turkey seeks allies' support for ground operation as Syria war nears border


By Tulay Karadeniz, Ece Toksabay and Humeyra Pamuk ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey, Saudi Arabia and some European allies want ground troops deployed in Syria as a Russian-backed government advance nears NATO's southeastern border, Turkey's foreign minister said, but Washington has so far ruled out a major offensive. Syrian government forces made fresh advances on Tuesday, as did Kurdish militia, both at the expense of rebels whose positions have been collapsing in recent weeks under the Russian-backed onslaught. The offensive, supported by Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias as well as Russian air strikes, has brought the Syrian army to within 25 km (15 miles) of Turkey's frontier, while Kurdish fighters, regarded by Ankara as hostile insurgents, have extended their presence along the border.




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