Tue, October 16, 2012
World > Middle East

Turkey test waters for the Syria invasion?

2012-10-16 01:27:10 GMT2012-10-16 09:27:10(Beijing Time)  SINA English

All Syria-bound planes are now under Turkey’s special control. An Armenian plane carrying aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo was force landed and searched Monday.

The plane was allowed to continue its flight after the search in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum. Armenia’s Foreign Ministry claimed that the landing was planned and Armenia had known the plane would be searched in line with a previously reached agreement.

That was a discriminative requirement but, Yerevan had nothing but to agree, says Edgar Vardanyan, expert of the Armenian Center for Strategic and National Research.

"There are lots of Armenians in Syria - a large community and we can’t ignore them. Many of them have fled to Armenia and we assist them but we also want those who stayed in Syria to get aid."

The situation followed the last Wednesday incident when Turkey forced down a Syrian airliner from Moscow, and said it had found Russian munitions on board destined for Syria’s armed forces. This was not confirmed but Turkey banned all Syrian aircraft from its airspace.

Earlier, Turkey’s parliament approved a mandate on cross-border military operations in Syria.

Turkey is not ready for a war either politically, ideological or economically. Its army is stronger than Syria’s but if Turkey gets involved in a protracted conflict it would ruin economic growth and high living standards of people which were pledged by the National Justice and Development Party. The ruling party which took the helm in 2002did a lot since then and a bloody conflict could ruin it all.

The Syrian plane travelling from Moscow had no munitions on board, it was carrying radar equipment, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated after the incident and added that Syria is not under any sanctions.

In the grounding and confiscation of part of the cargo of a passenger jet flying from Moscow to Syria and the beating of passengers and crew, many say Turkey committed an illegal act of air-piracy. Has Ankara now decided to take on Moscow? Not likely, but things are not always as they seem, and the hand of NATO and the US are more than just discernable in the incident.

What is troubling is that Turkey would so openly and blatantly commit such a provocative act right in front of the eyes of the entire world. What one has to wonder is what has emboldened Turkey to such a point. Could it be that Turkey was pushed into doing so by NATO to test the waters for the invasion of Syria that they so crave?

If NATO and the US are preparing for an invasion of Syria, then one of the first things they need to knock out are the country’s radar and air-defense systems. If the F-4 Phantom was a test run, then Western technology proved to be impotent in evading Syrian air defenses, and Russian technology as they suppose.

Even when it is highly unlikely Turkey in this case is clearly being manipulated and used by the US and NATO, both now prepared for the upcoming invasion of Syria, it is also evident that arms, mercenaries and terrorists are being spring-boarded into Syria from Turkish bases, and even the mortar that recently killed the Turkish citizens on the border allowing Turkey to begin shelling inside Syrian territory was NATO issue.

Thus, people would wonder who is pulling the strings in Turkey, the West’s military intentions for the region are clear. But it is still a moot point whether Turkey has become emboldened in its bid to please its western “partners”.

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