Turkey Syria WAR
Posted in the Golden Valley Forum
#1 Oct 4, 2012
UN scrambles to defuse tensions between Turkey, Syria
UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "alarmed by escalating tensions" between Syria and Turkey and warned that the risk of the 18-month-long Syrian conflict embroiling the entire region was growing, his spokesman said on Thursday.
"The Secretary-General is alarmed by escalating tensions along the Syrian-Turkish border," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters. "As the situation inside Syria deteriorates yet further ... the risks of regional conflict and the threat to international peace and security are also increasing."
A mortar bomb from Syria landed in Turkey on Wednesday, killing at least five people. Turkey responded later the same day by striking targets in Syria. Turkey asked the UN Security Council to take the "necessary action" to stop Syrian aggression and ensure Turkish territorial integrity is respected.
Turkey's parliament gave authorization on Thursday for military operations outside Turkish borders if the government deemed them necessary, a day after artillery shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border town.
At the UN, Russia blocked the adoption of a draft statement condemning a deadly Syrian mortar attack on a Turkish town and proposed a weaker text that would call for "restraint" on the border without referring to breaches of international law.
Western diplomats complained that Russia's proposals, if accepted, would weaken the statement to an unacceptable degree.
"The members of the Security Council called on the parties to exercise restraint and avoid military clashes which could lead to a further escalation of the situation in the border area between Syria and Turkey," said Russia's proposed statement, which was obtained by Reuters.
If adopted, the non-binding statement would also call on the two neighbors to "reduce tensions and forge a path toward a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis." The Syrian mortar attack on Wednesday killed five Turkish civilians.
The Russian draft keeps some of the language in the original text proposed by Azerbaijan, and urges the Syrian government to investigate the attack.
The United States also proposed amendments to "strengthen" the original text, according a Western diplomat.
The original draft, circulated to the 15-nation council on Wednesday, condemned "in the strongest terms" the Syrian army's shelling of a town in Turkey and demanded an end to violations of Turkish territory.
Both drafts include the line: "This represents a demonstration of the spilling over of the crisis in Syria into neighboring states to an alarming degree."
However, the Russians proposed removing the following sentence, which diplomats said was crucial language: "Such violations of international law constitute a serious threat to international peace and security."
The language removed by the Russians, UN envoys say, was intended to signal that the Security Council, which is supposed to be the guardian of international peace and security, should remain involved in the matter.
#2 Oct 4, 2012
'Typical of Russia'
Another problem with the Russian proposal, Western diplomats said on condition of anonymity, is that it attempts to balance the Syrian attack with the Turkish response and shifts the blame away from the Syrian army, suggesting an investigation is needed to determine whether the Syrian army was behind the attack.
"I don't think the Russian proposal will do much to unify the council," a Western diplomat told Reuters. "I don't think it's acceptable but perhaps we can reach a compromise."
Another envoy said: "It's very typical of Russia trying to protect Assad."
Some 30,000 people have been killed across Syria in the 18-month-long conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels seeking to oust him, opposition activists say. The civil war is seeing growing sectarian overtones which threaten to draw in regional Sunni Muslim and Shi'ite powers.
Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, and China have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad's government. They also reject the idea of sanctioning those in power in Syria who are responsible for the military assault against the opposition.
#3 Oct 4, 2012
The Syrian government said the bombings killed 34 people and injured 122 although death tolls have been difficult to verify. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said at least 40 people were killed.
The state-run Ikhbariya TV channel showed massive damage around Saadallah al-Jabri Square, which also houses a famous hotel and a coffee shop that had been popular with regime forces. One building appeared to have been leveled, and the facade of another was torn away.
The station broadcast video of several bodies, including one being pulled from a collapsed building. Rescuers stood atop piles of concrete and debris, frantically trying to pull out survivors.
Activists could not reach the area, which is controlled by security forces and sealed off with checkpoints.
#4 Oct 4, 2012
For weeks, Turkeys leaders have faced a public backlash over their aggressive posture toward Syria, a sentiment owed partly to a feeling that Turkey may be on the right side in the fight but that it is isolated, without the backing of its Western allies, including the United States, as China, Russia and Iran have lined up forcefully behind the government of Mr. Assad. That feeling deepened after the latest crisis.
We are now at a very critical juncture, Melih Asik, a columnist, wrote in the centrist newspaper Milliyet.We are not only facing Syria, but Iran, Iraq, Russia and China are behind it as well. Behind us, we have nothing but the provocative stance and empty promises of the U.S.
#5 Oct 5, 2012
No to worry.
IF President Obama is reelected he will be making special "Deals" with Russia and the USA and Russia will be buddies forever thereafter.
Talking to them will help.
#6 Oct 5, 2012
Turkey 'not far' from war with Syria
There has been another exchange of fire across the border between Turkey and Syria, with Turkey's prime minister warning the two nations are "not far" from war.
In a belligerent speech to a crowd in Istanbul on Friday, Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan warned the Syrian government it would be making a fatal mistake if it picked a fight with Turkey.
The heated rhetoric came as Turkey's military again returned fire across the border after Syrian shells again landed on Turkish soil on Friday.
The cross-boarder shelling follows a Syrian mortar barrage on a town in south-east Turkey that killed five people on Tuesday.
Turkish artillery continued to bombard Syrian military targets on Wednesday and Thursday in response, killing several Syrian soldiers.
The Turkish parliament then authorised a one-year mandate for cross-border military action in the event of further aggression.
Mr Erdogan warned Syria that it would pay "a big price" for further attacks.
"We are not interested in war, but we're not far from it either," Mr Erdogan said in his speech.
"Those who attempt to test Turkey's deterrence, its decisiveness, its capacity - I say here they are making a fatal mistake.
"When they say 'if you want peace prepare for war' it means that when the time comes, war becomes the key to peace".
The head of Syria's main opposition coalition, the Syrian National Council (SNC), says president Bashar al-Assad is trying to turn the civil war into a regional conflict.
"This incident was a Syrian regime plan," SNC chief Abdel Basset Sayda told reporters at a press conference in Istanbul.
"The regime is trying to export the Syrian crisis. He (Syrian president Bashar al-Assad) thinks, that way, he can transform the conflict into a regional one."
Turkey, once an Assad ally but now a leading voice in calls for him to quit, shelters more than 90,000 Syrian refugees in camps on its territory and has allowed rebel army leaders sanctuary.
Violence has also spilled over into Lebanon.
The UN Security Council condemned the original Syrian attack and demanded that such violations of international law stop immediately.
The United States has said it stands by its NATO ally's right to defend itself against aggression spilling over from Syria's war.
In the Syrian civil conflict, the military has launched an intense attack on the city of Homs.
The city has been an important centre of resistance and opposition activists say the government has launched its most intense attack there in five months.
Activist say rockets and bombs fell on the city killing eight civilians and a rebel fighter.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says six civilians and eleven rebels were killed in Aleppo, taking Friday's nationwide death toll to 95.
Meanwhile, Syrian rebel fighters are threatening to execute dozens of Iranians they kidnapped in August unless Syria's army withdraws from the embattled eastern Ghuta area of Damascus province.
It is the second time the rebels have issued such a threat against the Iranian hostages.
On August 5, rebels posted a video of 48 Iranians kidnapped in Damascus, saying they were elite Revolutionary Guards.
"We gave the regime 48 hours starting yesterday to withdraw completely from the eastern Ghuta area," said Abul Wafa, the commander of the rebels' so-called Revolutionary Military Council.
"We also have other secret, military demands. If the regime does not fulfil them we will start finishing off the hostages."
#7 Oct 6, 2012
#8 Oct 6, 2012
Panetta believes war possible
#9 Oct 6, 2012
The best way to help in a war between Muslims is to give both sides a lot of bombs and hope they resort to using chemical weapons on each other.
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