For Turkey, Planned U.S. Missile Strikes on Syria Not Good Enough

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HAKAN GOKTEPE / TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY / AFP / Getty Images

From left: Syria's opposition chief Ahmad Jarba and Turkish Foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu at a press conference in Istanbul.

For some American allies, such as the UK, whose parliament seemed to reject any armed involvement in Syria on Thursday, punitive airstrikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad might be too much to stomach. For others, it may be too little. As the U.S. readies to proceed with limited missile strikes against Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed over a thousand people last week, Turkey, a key regional ally and Syria’s neighbor, seems to want more than Washington is willing to give.

The Obama administration signaled Friday that any action against Syria would be brief and measured. Turkey, however, having declared it would join any international coalition against Assad, with or without U.N. backing, has made it equally clear it wants a more robust intervention. On Wednesday, according to Turkish media, Ahmet Davutoglu, the country’s Foreign Minister, counseled his US counterpart John Kerry that any action should be forceful enough to bring Assad’s regime to the negotiating table.

A Turkish foreign ministry official, speaking to TIME anonymously, fleshed out Davutoglu’s remarks. “Any intervention should be designed to clear the way for a solution,” he says, “rather than maintaining, or rather worse, aggravating the uncertainties prevalent right now.”

Since the beginning of the two-year-long civil war in Syria, Turkey, which shares a 560-mile border with its southern neighbor, has grown increasingly vulnerable to the conflict’s violent spillover. To date, almost half a million Syrians have found shelter in the country, including about 200,000 in refugee camps. Turkish soldiers manning the border have recently had to fight off thousands of heavily armed petrol smugglers near the town Reyhanli, where a car bombing earlier this year that Ankara links to Syrian intelligence agents claimed 53 lives. Further east, they have looked on helplessly as a Kurdish militia that has waged war against Turkey for the last 30 years has taken control over an area stretching from Ras al-Ayn, just south of the border in Syria, to northern Iraq.

The kind of intervention the Americans envision doesn’t address any of Turkey’s fundamental concerns about Syria’s unraveling state, says Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London. “Kurdish autonomy on the border, rising refugees, these so-called smugglers… none of that will stop, none of that gets addressed by the air strikes,” he says. “They won’t change the trajectory of the war.”

Turkish officials might be quite sober about the limited scope and impact of US-led action, says Stein, “but I assume they’re hoping it’s a slippery slope to the kind of intervention that Turkey would ultimately like to see take place, including a no-fly zone and major strikes to tilt the balance on the ground in the rebels’ favor.” Referring to the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, which forced Belgrade’s forces to withdraw from Kosovo, he says, “I think they’re hoping that this is the first of what will turn into Kosovo.”

Despite boasting the second biggest army in NATO, Turkey isn’t poised to play a leading role in the armed campaign against Syria, at least not at the outset, says Can Kasapoglu, a Research Fellow at EDAM, a think tank. Turkey can open its airspace and provide the US and allied forces access to some of its military bases and, if necessary, help them enforce a naval blockade in the eastern Mediterranean. If the campaign extends to a no-fly zone, he says, “the Air Force could be used in Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) operations, air refueling, and combat air patrol.”

The more that their country involves itself in the operations, many Turks fear, the higher the risk of Syrian retaliation. Ankara is far from invulnerable. Earlier this year, NATO stationed six Patriot batteries near the country’s border with Syria at Turkey’s behest. The batteries, manned by roughly 1,200 NATO troops, can protect up to 3.5 million people from a potential missile threat, according to NATO sources, but they cannot guarantee total protection. “No missile defense can work at 100% interception rates,” says Kasapoglu. And while failure to intercept a conventional missile “could be tolerable,” he says, the equation changes when biological and chemical warfare is brought into the picture. A WMD-tipped ballistic missile that penetrates Turkey’s defenses could spell disaster.

Until and unless the Syrian regime feels entirely cornered, however, any overt aggression against Turkey is very unlikely. “Assad has proven himself to be either preposterously stupid or not in control of his armed forces,” says Stein, but he would have to be mad to hit Turkey, a NATO member. Even if the Alliance has initially ruled out a role in a possible intervention in Syria, a major Syrian attack against Turkey could easily trigger NATO’s “mutual defense” clause. And that, says Stein, “would lead to very robust intervention by the West.”

Even as it debates the scale of its contribution, the Turkish government may run into a wall at home. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Davutoglu have been bellicose, but most Turks, who are traditionally wary of military adventures abroad, remain opposed to any armed intervention in Syria. So does much of the political opposition. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) commands a majority in Parliament but any resolution authorizing Turkish involvement in Syria, if its adoption proves necessary, may yet founder. It wouldn’t be the first time. On March 1, 2003, as the US readied for war with Iraq, Turkey’s parliament voted on a motion allowing more than 60,000 American troops to operate from the country’s bases. It fell by a margin of three votes.

93 comments
CrossWinds
CrossWinds

In these troubled times, Turn to Christ, who will give you an understanding of the times we live in........
..........I pray you will hear the voice of the Son of God speaking to your heart......and respond with the words, " Lord Jesus be merciful to me a sinner." ........

....It will change your life forever....God Bless.

TJ293
TJ293

Of course Washington politicians would have intervened long ago had American interests of oil and Israel were at stake (Libya, Iraq) but not when the call to help the oppressed when it really counts is blaring?

I find it strange that Americans esp. conservatives suddenly seem so helpless in the belief that force could actually be used for something good after taking us to wars after wars for "fake democracies" "fake WMDs" etc. When actual freedom is at stake and WMDs have been used, now they clamor for US to "keep out?" If there ever were hypocrites without a soul, brain, and heart...it would be them.



ThomasTurk
ThomasTurk

One tiny little problem for any planned limited strike. When the first cruise missile leaves a ship, as immediately relayded to Dr. Assad through Russian and Chinese satellite intel, Dr. Assad  CANNOT KNOW whether this is a planned 20 missile across the bows warning to maybe take out his runways, or, 200 missile attempt to taker out his planes, command centres, artillery, or,, a shock and awe with 10,000 missiles to take the country back to the stone age aka Iraq and Libya. He will have NO CHOICE but to immediately retaliate with his Russian KH 831, andr Chinese C-802 supersonic, often speed-boat mounted supersonoic,  sea skimming anti-ship missiles, and his Russian  Iskanda cruise missiles that will fry the Patriots in Jordan, Turkey and Israel. His Scuds are already aimed at Telaviv, all US bases and ME cities. I would do the same, wouldn't you, or would you just roll over and surrender while your country is flattened? And, Iran, which was the main target to hit as soon as Dr Assad retaliated, has the US carriers sitting ducks in the Gulf, never mind Hezbollas 40,000 rockets aimed at Israel.

If you warmongering Amercans want to play games, then go ahead.

mopteron
mopteron

The islamists in power in Ankara can simply re-establish the Ottoman empire in order to grab back Syria. Isn't that simple? Why should the US act as their mercenary?

Yoshi
Yoshi

Not enough for Turkey? Let them deal with it, then. 

We should STAY OUT. We have NO OBLIGATION to Syria. Maybe Turkey, Russia, Iran, and China can handle this?

No more war, Mr. President!

BillPearlman
BillPearlman

The Turks have been a pain in the ass since this guy got in power. Let them handle it. 

eagle11772
eagle11772

The U.S. should stay out of this completely !  This is NOT our fight.  It's a civil war and the Syrians should solve this by themselves without ANY outside intervention.  And WHEN is The Obamaniac "ending the wars" like he PROMISED in 2008 ? !  And NOW, he wants to start a THIRD WAR ??? !!!

jebusite1
jebusite1

@cairowire British parliament's negative (narrowly) vote on had more to do with internal politics than 'not having the stomach'.

Tama1465
Tama1465

@p_zalewski take a look at my user profile and find out easy methods to reduce 20 pounds in under 26 days

TomDegan
TomDegan

"When innocent lives are taken in the most reprehensible of ways, to whom do their souls cry? Whence comes their justice? Is America's moral leadership in the world carved out by the tip of its sword?"

Charles M. Blow
from this morning's New York Times

Words that should be etched in granite, Mr. Blow. Now what the heck did I do with my chisel....

Maybe this is the only positive legacy of the disgusting administration of George W. Bush: he has left America, the planet's Super Cop, quite war-weary indeed. An attack on Syria - while the motivations might very well be noble - could create more problems than it solves. Maybe now is the time to come up with an alternative to military intervention. In
fact the time is long overdue.

While it's true that giving peace a chance is futile in a situation like the one in Syria, an attack on the Syrian military could result in collateral damage that will only inflame the Arab world. In case it's slipped your mind, we poll lower than athlete's foot in that region of the world these days. Why throw gas on the fire?

The headline in one of the New York tabloids yesterday morning read, "THE BRITISH AREN'T COMING! THE Indeed. And can you blame them for not wanting to go down this road again? I can't.

We'd be wise not to go down that road again either.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Report from 2012-06-09 (!)

Report: Terrorist Groups in Syria Armed with Chemical Weapons

TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorist groups in Syria are now armed with chemical weapons, media reports disclosed on Saturday, adding that these groups receive the needed trainings on how to use such lethal weapons in Turkey.

According to a report by Syrian DamPress, these chemical weapons have been transferred to Syria from Libya. The news agency pointed to the growing number of media reports on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and warned, "Any report released or to be released on the Syrian Army's alleged use of the chemical weapons is meant to pave the ground for the terrorists to use these weapons against the people and accuse the Syrian army and government of that crime."

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9103081516 (Unfortunately, this link no longer works.), as and this http://world.time.com/2013/06/13/u-s-officials-say-assad-used-chem-waseapons/ and this http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/06/04/tk_0?page=0,1

For the 2 time  I wrote about it here. Link to this article still works

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/06/13/everything_in_syria_is_going_to_plan

Mirror of the Report here

http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/terrorist-groups-in-syria-armed-with-chemical-weapons/

http://book-reviews-citadel.blogspot.ru/2012/06/terrorist-groups-in-syria-armed-with.html

ScottMollett
ScottMollett

The jews just want the USA to do their dirty work. Again. No.

brookesik
brookesik

The Assad government has already agreed to attend talks in Geneva which Russia has been trying to organize since May.  The US and its allies, as well as the rebels, are stalling as they pour weapons and fighters into Syria to try and strengthen their position and allow them to dictate the outcome of the conference. 

The actions of the US and its allies are illegal under the UN Charter but the US only recognizes law if it is convenient.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@TJ293 

Don't be silly. Everybody knows you are behind this. The atrocities are happening at the hands of your terrorist proxies.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@ThomasTurk  

Brother, I say go ahead and make our day. This will be the last time the war mongers start a war I think. Once it is over, the USA will be also and Israel won't even see the end of it before it meets its end. I had hoped to live to see the day. Now it's looking certain. 

TJ293
TJ293

@ThomasTurk Warmongering Americans? Apparently you must be deaf, dumb, and blind not to notice the warmonger Assad already killing 100,000 of his own people, gassing sleeping children to death, and raping thousands of women then burning them alive in their homes. 

The war has already been declared on the people of Syria and its been going on for two years without any response by the supposed "warmongering Americans." 

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@Yoshi  

You should get out of Syria, and the day you stop supporting the terrorists there, the phoney insurgency will collapse.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@eagle11772  

It is not a civil war. It is foreign backed terrorism, and you are the foreign backers along with your proxies in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

TJ293
TJ293

@eagle11772 Weren't your ilk the same ones lying about Saddam and cheer-leading the Iraq war? Now you're gonna pontificate about what's "our fight and not?"

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@jebusite1 @cairowire 

Well yes, politics which doesn't accept the preposterous BS coming out of Washington actually. That's what happens in real democracies. Politics involves discussion and comparison. We don't all have dictators who can declare war on anyone, anytime based on the flimsiest of pretenses and nor do we have enough complete ratards who will go along with any BS story like you do.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Thus, on the preparation of provocations of chemical weapons, was known in advance.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Then as we know, in Turkey, the unrest and this story is jammed.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

This story is continued. Voltaire Network. France

31 May 2013

Turkish police seizes 2 kg of sarin gas from Al-Nusra militants

In the course of its investigation into the Reyhanlı bombings (11 May 2013), the Turkish police conducted on Monday, 27 May 2013, a series of raids on the homes of Al-Nusra Front militants in Adana and Mersin. 12 suspects were arrested.

2 kg of sarin gas were found.

The Al-Nusra Front is the Levantine branch of Al-Qaida. The militants were preparing to use the sarin gas inside both Turkey and Syria. Sarin gas is a chemical weapon banned by the United Nations in 1991.

This discovery comes as the French daily Le Monde, in its edition dated May 28, published a five-part report by Jean-Philippe Rémy and Laurent Van Der Stockton "certifying" the use of gas by the Army Syrian Arab against the "rebellion" in Jobar (district of Damascus).

The report is a carbon copy of the one carried out in Homs, more than one year ago by the same newspaper, which was translated into the main European languages ​​and published by all major outlets in NATO member states. The report contains several absurdities: journalists describe a chemical warfare at the heart of the capital supposed to affect only "opponents"; the people show diverse symptoms, but no convulsions; and photos illustrating the first installment point to an eye treatment which is incongruous with for poison gas (which penetrates the skin and is not a tear gas). This piece of propaganda was disseminated and widely relayed on the eve of the lifting of the EU embargo on sending weapons to armed groups in Syria.

http://imgur.com/Iue8qy2

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178710.html

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/06/01/485062.htm

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@TJ293@ThomasTurk 

No, actually your terrorists killed most of those people, it is not even debatable outside the circles of stupid yopu evidently swim around in.  If Assad had killed those people, his popularity would hardly be over 70% among Syrians as it is today.  Your terrorists also are the ones who have been using chemcial weapoins, and everybody knows it. They make videos about it you idiot.  Not least of the problems with your delusions, is the fact the "rebels" have admitted Ghouta was their weapons after all.  The trouble is these pet Islamist (fake Muslim) terrorists are uncontrollable. They don;t understand normal humanity, they hate everybody with the same venegeance. including YOU their ostensible allies. They openly speak of their intentions of turning on you when they finish murdering real Muslims. You have allies of the most grotesque beings ever to walk earth, whether it is Zionist terrorists or Wahhabi/Takfiri terrorists. For shame....if you had any.

http://original.antiwar.com/Dale-Gavlak/2013/08/30/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass @eagle11772 You claim to be an aussie living in perth, you sound more like a muslim living in Syria or Egypt. I hope the aussie Govt agents have a file on your dumb ass.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass @sinanulgen1 @TIMEWorld By the way I am very openminded , i let you have your opinions. i just know opinions are like ASS HOLES every one has one, only some are better then others. I am sure your spouse has one too.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass @Openminded1 @sinanulgen1 @TIMEWorld next time sicko you want to wright a book call simon and shuster. You are a real nut case violent ass, You live in aussie land you need to move to disneyland. You are a moron who buys into all the muslim religious crap and what you see on the internet. I feel sorry for your family having to be brainwashed by you and your other religion moron buddies. Is this all you do all day think about how much you hate The USA the country you are afraid of. if you guys are so tough where are you. religious fanatics causes more wars and killings through ouy history. Go out go to a movie ,get laid , take a disney vacation , or a cruise, take your wife or girlfriend or maybe boy friend who knows out to dinner in the outback, buy a puppy do something other stew in your hate for america and non-muslims. You are in need of a real life, you are one sorry sob.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@Openminded1 @MuhammadAbbass @sinanulgen1 @TIMEWorld  

I'm puzzled as to why such a self evidently ignorant bigot would choose "openminded" as a moniker. Irony truly is above Americans' heads as they say.  Saddam Hussei, (your ally when he was up to no good in case you forgot who supplied him with WMDs and the means to target others with them, was yet a better leader than anything you've had dredged up in my lifetime. However once again, your ignorance lets you down. I am an Iranian supporter and have zero tolerance for Sunni leaders who attack peaceful Shiites, which your proxies do of course. I didn't like Saddam when he was your ally, and only was concerned for the Iraqi people when your war criminal terrorist state destroyed the country, with our help, to our eternal shame..


As for Osama Bin Laden (the CIA asset) once again I have to refer to your profoundly ignorant and misinformed outlook. Bin Laden was a friend of Bush, Bin Laden was an asset of the CIA, Bin Laden died in early 2002 in a Yemen hospital. He was getting a visit in hospital from your CIA chief the day before the NeoCon/Zionist false flag attack on 9/11/2001. I refer once again to the fact I am against Wahhabism, they are not true Muslims, which is why they work so easily with scum like your war criminals. The fact Bin Laden was a US asset is good enough reason for Muslims to hate him but al-Qaida is entirely in your employment, so the irony of your silly post is delightful actually.  Oh why do you think they killed off the Seal team six who supposedly killed the Ghost of Bin Laden in Abbatobad? Why do you think they shot dead an unarmed mnan whose head supposedly would have had the most valuable information in the world for the phony war on terror? Simple numbnuts, because it was NOT Osama Bin Laden they killed. EVERYBODY, and I mean EVERYBODY who has any ability to think for themselves or who has an internet connection and cares about the truth, can easly establish this for themselves. The death of OBL back in 2002 was widely reported, just not fed to you clowns in your daily propaganda swill. 

See your problem is, that with nothing except false propaganda to go on, you are fighting a losing battle with reality.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass well known by your western name, who the F-knows you other then other muslims and the CIA and AIS. What kind of factory, you make guns for your non-violent muslim buddies?

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass @Openminded1 @eagle11772 By the way how many mosque do you nut cases have in Perth and the rest of Aussie land ? Your AIS has a major file on you most likely so does are CIA and NSA. Your violent way of thinking and speaking would warrant that.  And Muslims are all Ignorant and Intolerant . I like most Aussie people they are funny and very friendly, you are not the normal aussie  you are more like the abnormal muslim.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass Ps; you are not better educated dummy you just take your time using proper punctuation and grammar. It take you 30 minutes to think your crap up as you use spell check and and proof read . looks good but it is still religious rhetoric violent bull crap buy a nut case. On the other hand i type 120 words a minute and do not care about checking grammar or punctuation because this is not a class room moron , school has been out a long time for me. so grade your muslim nut cases not me because I do not give a flying F- about you or your south Asian you are married too. I do how ever feel sorry for her having to live with you. If she came to America she could be with a brother and find out what a real man is like. we are about loving .

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass @Openminded1 @eagle11772 What a moron you are not violent. Everything you say has a violent overtone. And your AIS has a file on you at least 6 inches thick, you can hope all you want that they do not but they do. and since when are Americans not welcome in australia ? i was there 2 years ago and they love us. i was there in 1969 for a little Rand R from vietnam and they love us then too. Many aussie come to the US for vacation and love it. I think it is just you killer that hates americans and non-muslims. You are more like us then most other country's. Your mother land GB and Canada are so much like us in so many ways its pathetic. the only difference you folks in ausssie land are not a world power. Give your family a break go out get a real life ,life is to short for you muslim morons more then most.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@Openminded1 @MuhammadAbbass @eagle11772  

By the way, what's this crap about the Aussie government having a file on me? That's because I'm a Muslim is it?  That's your idea of a democracy is it?  The sad thing is that clowns like you are too ignorant to even grasp how preposterous and vile the stuff you come out with, sounds to normal people. The Australian intelligence services, like your CIA are only interested in Muslims who are violent, ignorant and intolerant, and they keep agents at all our Mosques seeking them out. They then arm and train such scum to be terrorists. As a moderate and peaceful Muslim with strongly Shiite sympathies, I am the least interest to the intelligence services, since I am no threat and no use as a proxy terrorist either. Australia is also a civilised country and any abuses of our rights as Australians will be a much bigger deal than what happens when Americans rights are trampled in the US of A. We are not like you at all. This is still a decent country even if it has far too much lying media and puppet governments. Why Americans are generally not welcome here as it happens.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

Well you self evidently are a bigot.  I am better educated than you, going by grammar and punctuation. I am quite well known by my Western name, and own a factory here in Perth, hardly hiding out like some ignorant bigot hiding behind a screen name. I am six generations Australian and our blood is Scottish/Irish. I am also a Muslim,  having come all the way from profound ignorance of Islam like your type thrives on, to seeing the truth which is kept from the West by the corpse media. I am married to a South Asian and I travel to the Middle East and Asia regularly. As such I am obviously vastly better informed about all of this than are you. 

I have written the truth, and given you sources to follow up elsewhere on this page. Nothing I have written is controversial, or based merely on anybody's say-so, which is all you have for your own delusions. Thus for you to go to the lengths of merely spitting out some Islamophobic bit of hatred whilst failing to even acknowledge the facts on the table, just bespeaks the sort of subhuman scuzball who support your vile, dirty war mongering perversions.


So tell us, since ypou're so hateful of Muslims, why would a little war piggy like you be so hot to go and attack Syria? Since it surely isn't due to concern for the plight of the Muslims in that country.  Don't tell me, let me guess, you just like to see people getting killed, by your criminal military.  Yes, yes there are ever evil people, and you indeed demonstrate you are one of them.



Openminded1
Openminded1

@MuhammadAbbass You sound like a terrorist your self muhammad, what is your real name Sidney, all you morons call yourself Muhammad.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

Muslim Brotherhood? What a joke you are. They are terrorists and enemies of Islam.

MuhammadAbbass
MuhammadAbbass

@Openminded1 @MuhammadAbbass @cairowire 

The whole world has a lot of retards, and the retarded Muslims are in your employment first in Libya and now Syria.  However one has to go to the USA to find a nation of retards. A nation which actually cultivates stupidity and seems preposterously proud of it. I am a former Aussie soldier you pathetic little POS, I was in our infantry and am as loyal to my country as any man. However I am not loyal to Israel or the USA and have no loyalty to their wars of aggression and if you target my religion I will most assuredly be your mortal enemy. I promise this. I have no problem looking in the mirror. However the day will come little demon person when you will want to hide from mirrors, if that is not what your ridiculous ignorance and cognitive dissonance is in reality. I wouldf fight to free my country of YOUR filthy influence and of the Zionist scum. That is becauseI am a patriotic Aussie and not a Zionist fifth columnest. I'm guessing with your attitude that you are indeed such a creature. Certain vilenesses go together in my experience.