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Peter Kenyon

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrapped up his Middle East tour in Turkey this morning with more talks aimed at defusing tensions in northern Syria. But at a press conference, Tillerson sounded a cautious note about U.S.-Turkish relations.

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Turkey's military offensive in northwest Syria, dubbed "Operation Olive Branch," has alarmed several countries and led to an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council. It pits U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey against a Kurdish fighting force armed and trained by the United States as part of the fight to defeat ISIS in Syria.

The fighting has thrown a spotlight on the confusing and at times conflicting alliances and goals in the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

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In Iran, antigovernment protests are in their fourth day, and the powerful Revolutionary Guard is warning demonstrators will pay the price. Two protesters were killed Saturday night. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports the government is seeking to blame the unrest on what it calls foreign agents.

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Turkey was once considered by the West to be a model Muslim democracy. It's been a critical U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS. And yet in 2017, Turkey has continued to become more and more authoritarian.

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