Turkish forces began a long-anticipated cross-border assault on Thursday against the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia, in northeastern Syria.

The dispute between Turkey and the Kurds has deep roots in regional power dynamics that have created a tangled web of interests. Further complicating the picture is the fact that the United States is an ally of both Turkey and the SDF, as the militia is known.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said the goal of the incursion was "to destroy the terror corridor" that he said Kurdish forces were trying to establish on his country's southern border, and

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Who are the Kurds?

How does Turkey view the Kurds?

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How does the US fit in?

Could all this benefit Isis?