— The Erimtan Angle —

Last night, a house in the small Turkish border town of Akçakale was hit by a missile from Syria . . .

In spite of the warlike talk in the above CNN clip, Turkey is not quite ready to enter the war directly in spite of having shelled Syrian positions all throughout the night. On another note, Turkey has been supporting the Syrian insurrection behind the scenes. The U.S. and Turkey have been employing the U.S. Air Force Base in İncirlik as a centre for supporting and arming the anti-Assad forces. The CIA has also been active in the area for months, as was admitted in the pages of the New York Times some time ago. Turkey’s other ally, Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with Qatar, has been quite active in its efforts to remove an Arab regime friendly to Tehran and opposed to the preponderance of U.S. influence in the Middle East.

The victims of the attack on the Turkish town of Akçakale have now been taken to a hospital nearby. Al Jazeera‘s Anita McNaught reports from Şanlıurfa, Turkey (3 Oct 2012).

The pro-government Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reports that ‘Turkish artillery hit targets near Syria’s Tel Abyad border town for a second day on Thursday [, 4 Oct], killing several Syrian soldiers according to activists and security sources, after a mortar bomb fired from the area killed five Turkish civilians. Turkey’s government said “aggressive action” against its territory by Syria’s military had become a serious threat to its national security and sought parliamentary approval for the deployment of Turkish troops beyond its borders. “Turkey has no interest in a war with Syria. But Turkey is capable of protecting its borders and will retaliate when necessary,” Ibrahim Kalın, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, said on his Twitter account’.[1]

The paper continues: ‘In the most serious cross-border escalation of the 18-month uprising in Syria, Turkey hit back after what it called “the last straw” when a mortar hit a residential neighbourhood of the southern border town of Akçakale on Wednesday [, 3 Oct]. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several Syrian soldiers were killed in the Turkish bombardment of a military post near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, a few miles across the frontier from Akçakale. It did not say how many soldiers died. “We know that they have suffered losses,” a Turkish security source told Reuters, without giving further details. NATO said it stood by member-nation Turkey and urged Syria to put an end to “flagrant violations of international law.” The US-led Western military alliance held an urgent late night meeting in Brussels to discuss the matter and in New York, Turkey asked the UN Security Council to take the “necessary action” to stop Syrian aggression. In a letter to the president of the 15-nation Security Council, Turkish UN Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan called the firing of the mortar bomb “a breach of international peace and security.” UN diplomats said Security Council members hoped it would issue a non-binding statement on Thursday that would condemn the mortar attack “in the strongest terms” and demand an end to violations of Turkey’s territorial sovereignty. Members had hoped to issue the statement on Wednesday, but Russia – a staunch ally of Syria’s, which along with China has vetoed three UN resolutions condemning President Bashar al-Assad’s government – asked for a delay, diplomats said. Turkey’s parliament had already been due to vote on Thursday on extending a five-year-old authorisation for foreign military operations, an agreement originally intended to allow strikes on Kurdish militant bases in northern Iraq. But the memorandum signed by Erdoğan and sent to parliament overnight said that despite repeated warnings and diplomatic initiatives, the Syrian military had launched aggressive action against Turkish territory, presenting “additional risks. This situation has reached a level of creating a serious threat and risks to our national security. At this point the need has emerged to take the necessary measures to act promptly and swiftly against additional risks and threats,” it said. It was not clear who fired the mortar into Turkey, but security sources said it had come from near Tel Abyad and that Turkey was increasing the number of troops along its border. “Our armed forces in the border region responded immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against places in Syria identified by radar,” Erdoğan’s office said in a statement late on Wednesday. “Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security.” Syria said it was investigating the source of the mortar bomb and urged restraint. Information Minister Omran Zoabi conveyed his condolences to the Turkish people, saying his country respected the sovereignty of neighbouring countries’.[2]

In The Guardian, Matthew Weaver and Brian Whitaker write that the “Turkish daily Hürriyet has published the text of a Turkish government motion seeking parliamentary approval for military operation outside its borders. It says Turkey’s opposition is likely to vote against the proposal. The motion was tabled by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Hürriyet quotes it saying: ‘This situation has reached a stage that poses serious threats and risks to our national security. Therefore, the need has developed to act rapidly and to take the necessary precautions against additional risks and threats that may be directed against our country. Within this framework, on the condition that the extent, amount, and time will be appreciated and determined by the government, I submit according to Article 92 of the Constitution a one-year-long permission to make the necessary arrangements for sending the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries and having it [TSK] mandated, according to the principle causes that will be designated by the government’”.[3]

[1] “Turkey renews shelling of Syrian military sites after mortar fire” Today’s Zaman (04 Oct 2012). http://www.todayszaman.com/news-294243-turkey-renews-shelling-of-syrian-military-sites-after-mortar-fire.html.

[2] “Turkey renews shelling of Syrian military sites after mortar fire”.

[3] Matthew Weaver and Brian Whitaker, “Turkey seeks parliaments approval military opearation” The Guardian (04 Oct 2012). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/04/turkey-syria-threat-security-live?CMP=NECNETTXT8187.


Comments on: "The War in Syria: The Attack on Akçakale (Turkey) and What it Means???" (5)

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