Title: The Turkish intervention in Northern Syria : one strategy, discrepant policies
Author: AL-HILU, Khayrallah
Publisher: European University Institute
Release date: 2020
Between 2016 and 2019, Turkey launched three military operations in the northern Aleppo countryside (Operation Euphrates Shield), Afrin (Operation Olive Branch) and the northern Raqqa countryside – western al-Hasakah (Operation Peace Spring). This study addresses the questions of whether there has been a unified strategy in these three Turkish intervention zones and what differences and similarities may have existed in the policies adopted in these zones. Based on interviews with local council officials, local Arab and Kurdish dignitaries, Syrian faction commanders and senior officers, activists, journalists and businesspeople, the paper first analyses Turkey’s security policies, including its direct military presence and the security roles assigned to the factions of the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army. It then delves into aspects of Turkish involvement in the local Syrian context, whether through population resettlement and demographic change policies or the imposition of a local administration model subordinate to Turkish administrative structures. Finally, the paper examines the service provision policies and the economic conditions in the areas under Turkish influence.