Turkey hails Erdoğan a hero as death toll mounts in border war

It’s an unusually hot autumn in the plains of southern Turkey, where in some places nothing but wire fencing is all that separates this country from the chaos that has engulfed Syria over the last eight years.

Cotton, pistachio and olive trees grow on both sides of the border. But plumes of black smoke are only rising above towns on the Syrian side.

From the outside, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s war on the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) appears to be a foreign policy disaster: Ankara is looking at possible sanctions and a European arms embargo, as well as a rising civilian death toll and accusations of war crimes that have led to a surge in international sympathy for Kurdish civilians bearing the brunt of the attack.

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