Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Turkey's new Syria policy means de facto buffer zone

This video shows a long convoy of Turkish military vehicles being transported to Turkish-Syrian border via Mardin. 
As if waiting for that moment, some activists had hard time in hiding their joy when Syria shot down Turkish warplane, believing that this now makes a good case for taking some tangible steps in averting 16-month long crisis in Turkey's southern neighbor.
I have bad news for warmongers: I know no single case of plane shootdown since the WWII that sparked a full-fledged armed conflict. Turkey has no major interest in attacking Syria, including a security one.
Turkey has long worked tooth and nail to make its Syria policy relevant and emphasis has been repeatedly put on Syria being Turkey's neighboring country. But this alone does not make this country more important than other countries which are not Turkey's neighbors.
Now there is an ample opportunity for Turkey to portray Syria as a country ruled by a regime that is too much frustrated and desparately attacking neighboring countries with no reason.
I'm an anti-interventionist yet I'm a staunch supporter of heightened security in Turkish-Syrian border. It was Turkey's mistake to let Turkish-Syrian border loose and fragile to an attack from Syria. When Syria was deploying tanks and armored vehicles in Aleppo, only dozens of miles away from Turkey, Ankara should have demanded an explanation from Damascus and requested it to withdraw the troops.
Syria shot down Turkish fighter jet on Friday and Erdoğan ordered the army to stay alert and changed the rules of engagement of the military on Tuesday. The Turkish army is now ordered to shoot anything they deem threatening from the Syrian side.
This means Syrian troops and tanks won't be able to conduct hot pursuit of rebels, conduct military operations near the Turkish border and pound bombs on rebel camps by choppers or warplanes.
This, in turn, will increase defections and make the Turkish border safe haven for the rebels.

1 comment:

  1. All Syria's borders need to be safe havens. Neighbouring countries should all take steps to protect their borders and civilian human rights in those regions.