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Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin: The key players

On Saturday, Turkey launched an operation in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin aimed at rooting out armed Kurdish groups, which Ankara considers a threat to its security. Turkish ground troops followed a day after, crossing the border into Syria alongside thousands of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters, as part of the so-called Operation Olive Branch. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that the operation in Afrin would be followed by a push into the northern town of Manbij, which the US-backed Kurdish forces captured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in 2016.

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