Moscow continues to maintain it wants to hit Islamic State militants in Syria. But Turkey, whose air space was violated over the weekend, thinks otherwise. And so does the West.
After Angela Merkel broke her silence on Turkey's Afrin offensive and condemned the attack, Ankara rejected her stance as "unacceptable." Merkel also decried the assault on Ghouta ahead of reports of evacuations.
Russian- and Turkish-backed offensives at two separate locations in Syria have caused tens of thousands of civilians to leave their homes in search of safety. The eight-year Syrian war shows no signs of abating.
Government forces have launched a brutal offensive to consolidate territory on the outskirts of Damascus. Warplanes have struck rebel-held areas, killing at least 30 civilians attempting to flee, according to a monitor.
Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army fighters reportedly met little resistance upon entering Afrin. A local official has warned that Kurdish forces would start waging guerrilla warfare in the surrounding region.
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