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A Direct Turkey-Russia Clash Is Growing Risk on Syria Border

  • Turkey is bombing Syrian Kurdish group backed by Russia, U.S.
  • Assad-Russia front gains upper hand vs Turkey-backed rebels
Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces prepare to fire mortars near Hasaka, in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria, on Nov. 11, 2015.

Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces prepare to fire mortars near Hasaka, in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria, on Nov. 11, 2015.

Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images
Updated on

There’s only one major group of combatants in the Syrian war that’s backed by both Russia and the U.S. -- and now Turkey is attacking it.

Since the weekend, Turkey has unleashed its 155-millimeter heavy guns across the border with Syria. The targets are Kurdish forces, whose recent advance is a key part of the Russian plan to extend President Bashar al-Assad’s control over Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday refused to stop the shelling and said Turkey was acting in self-defense.