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Turkey Is Cozying up to Russia and Disavowing the US By Ty Joplin

As Turkey invades territory in Syria held by U.S. allies, and threatens U.S. troops while buying billions of dollars in Russian arms, American diplomats and analysts are worried.  Former U.S. ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman and former advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden sum up the collective fear in a recent Politico article, claiming that Turkey is “out of control.”
But Turkey’s actions are not spontaneous or chaotic; they are part of a larger geopolitical realignment, one that involves a more ambitious foreign policy and a closer relationship with Russia. Turkey then, is not simply ‘out of control,’ but ‘out of the U.S.’ control.’
For years, Turkey has had to carefully navigate between the axes of the West/NATO, the Arab world and the Russian bloc. But after seeing an opportunity to pounce on regional power in Syria, Turkey now evidently sees Russia as a more valuable partner than the U.S.
When Turkey made the decision to invade the Afrin region of northwestern Syria, it sought Russia’s blessing long beforehand.
In the Summer of 2017, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Turkish Chief-of-Staff Hulusi Akar met in Istanbul. As a result of the meeting, Russia gave Turkey partial permission to fly over Syria—a move that both gave Turkey the ability to enter into Idlib with aerial support to police the de-escalation agreement, and allow any offensive into Afrin to occur.
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