For the first time in 9 years, two nation states are going toe-to-toe in Syria

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Syria’s curse, as its conflict rumbles slowly towards its first decade, has always been how new forces enter the war just when it seems that exhaustion might slow everyone down.
But over the past week, a starker evolution has occurred, one that’s been lost amid fatigue around the seemingly endless violence. Two of the most influential actors there — Turkey and the Syrian regime — have stopped fighting purely through proxies, and instead taken to directly attacking each other.
It is a seismic development: Turkish troops being repeatedly killed by Syrian forces, and then Ankara exacting a revenge toll on Bashar al-Assad’s men.

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