The war in Syria has lasted for nearly seven years. And in that time, many regional and international players have had a direct impact on events on the ground. The United States, Russia, and Iran have all been involved in some way or another.

Turkey is in the middle of a military operation in northern Syria. It wants to push out Kurdish fighters from the area closest to its southern border.

But it has not been an easy fight. On Saturday, seven of its soldiers were killed in an operation near the town of Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwestern Syria. Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG a terrorist organisation and an extension of its outlawed PKK, or Kurdistan Workers' Party - which it has been fighting for decades. 

The Turkish military plans to create a 30-kilometre buffer zone near its southern border.

But how much of a challenge will that be?

Presenter: Jane Dutton


Bilal Smabur - Professor of Social Sciences at Yildirim Beyazit University

Vladimir Sotnikov - Senior Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

Ahmed Al-Burai - Lecturer at Istanbul Aydin University

Source: Al Jazeera News