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Heading toward Greece, in Edirne, Turkey. Photo: Osman Orsal/Getty Images

There is war on Turkey’s border with Syria and chaos on its borders with Europe.

Driving the news: Turkey launched an offensive against Syrian government troops after at least 36 of its soldiers were killed in an airstrike last Thursday. It shot down two Syrian aircraft and claims to have killed hundreds of Syrian forces.

Simultaneously, Turkey announced that it was opening its borders to allow Syrian refugees to cross into Europe. Turkey hosts 3.7 million Syrians but — with up to a million people displaced by recent fighting in Idlib expected to attempt to cross into Turkey —says the situation is no longer sustainable.

On the scene: “Thousands of migrants have gathered near Greece's Kastanies border crossing, some getting there by taking free rides on buses organized by the Turkish government. Turkey’s state-owned Arabic-language broadcasting channel ... provided maps for migrants showing various routes to reach the border,” per Al-Monitor.

The EU insists its gates remain closed.

  • “We have to stand by Greece and fight together Erdogan’s blackmail,” said Guy Verhofstadt, a senior EU politician.
  • Turkish media released a disturbing video of members of the Greek coast guard apparently attempting to turn back or sink a boat filled with migrants.
  • A young Syrian boy died today when his boat capsized off of Lesbos.

In Syria, meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has focused his ire on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and not Syria’s ally, Vladimir Putin.

  • Erdoğan plans to meet with Putin on Thursday in Moscow to attempt to negotiate the endgame in Idlib.
  • Putin has aided Assad in retaking nearly all of Syria, but he has also been working for years to pull Turkey further from Washington’s orbit. He’ll have to weigh those competing priorities.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in Idlib continues.

Go deeper

National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

12 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
50 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.

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