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With nearly 1 million displaced Syrians massing near the Turkish border in the face of a Syrian government military offensive, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s options are narrowing. He feels blindsided by Russia’s push into Syria’s Idlib region and the risk of full-blown conflict is growing, but Turkey’s Erdogan remains hopeful a deal with Moscow may offer a way out of the crisis, according to Turkish government officials and other sources.

Erdogan has repeatedly warned that Turkey, which backs rebels in Syria’s northwest province, would push Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops away from territory taken in the recent months if they didn’t pull back by the end of February.

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