On the Edge of War: Turkish Strategy on Syria

Yesterday, Turkish PM Erdoğan’s speech aired live all over the world which was very important to understand Turkey’s approach. That speech showed us that we are on the edge of war. Also, what can be understood from PM’s speech is that Turkish strategy mostly depends on Syrian side: As long as Bashar al-Assad keeps being aggresive, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for him.

Yesterday when I heard PM saying “We will continue to support opposition in Syria until Assad goes down” I suddenly tweeted from my personal twitter account; “We will face new terrorist attacks unfortunately.”  Today, papers say “4 killed in clashes in southern Turkey (Siirt).” Well, no surprise there. The PKK (terrorists) wing that organize attacks nowadays  are deployed in Syrian soils and they are supported by Assad. Syria have been a ‘sweet home’ to terrorism against Turkey for a long time in the 90’s; hosting terrorist leaders for some time until Turkey’s threat of invasion. Now in 2012, Assad provides anything they need…

As a response to PM’s support to opposition in Syria, Assad plays his terrorism card which makes me think that will cause a war in the end given the current jet crisis. Moreover Turkey changed ‘rules of engagement’ yesterday. Any military element near the border will be considered as military target and will be hit without warning.

Taking into account any possible military engagement pops out the question for its legal base. For this reason Turkey try to legitimize itself in case of war.  Because without support of EU or US (hence NATO) if Turkey feel forced to fight, consequences would be beyond imagination. Plan works out for now. Every detail, every record about the incident is presented and explained to NATO. War is not the first option but, if forced unfortunately it will be the last option. It depends on Assad’s attitude.

A quick sincere apology, convenient compensation would be a relief and would put war out of the question. However, Assad is not even close. His strategy seems to be ‘firing’ people with nationalism, unite them against a foreign enemy and change the target which is he.  Therefore as can be seen clearly, Syrian strategy will determine Turkish strategy.

Columnist, Mustafa Akyol referring a part of PM’s speech says in his article today;

Erdoğan said “Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria by posing a security risk will be regarded as a threat, and will be treated as a military target.”

That means that this plane incident is not a “casus belli,” or a cause of war, but future acts of aggression by the Syrian regime may be. So, the thugs of Damascus should behave.


Army on high alert on Syrian border

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned Syria that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have been given instructions to treat any approaching Syrian military unit as a threat, a sign that the Syrian crisis sparked a bilateral conflict between the two neighbors after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet in the Mediterranean…. Click For More

Syria Shooting Down Turksih Jet: In Revenge of What?

 An Independent web site founded by team of journalists, providing intelligence and security intelligence claim that  its  military sources reported recently that;

Syria laid an ambush for the Turkish warplane in revenge for the defection of the Syrian Air Force pilot Col. Hassan Maray al-Hamadeh to Jordan a day earlier with his MiG-21 warplane. Officials in Damascus are certain his defection was organized by US and Turkish intelligence.

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How to start a war: Turkey – Syria Tension

 A Turkish [unarmed] F-4 plane was gone missing  in the Syria early in the morning of friday. Later  PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there was unclear points so it was too early to comment. After 2 hours of security meeting, official statement said  that the warplane was shot down by Syria and pilots are still missing. While we were watching the TV for the comments of experts, Syrian officials made a statment saying that, “Turkish jet was 1 km inside of the Syrian soil therefore it was shot by an anti-aircraft.”

So after a long time of uncertainty today, it is official that Syria shot down a warplane of a friendly country. So what happens next?

Turkey is a member of NATO. Any threat against any member of NATO is bussines of every member. So this attack is not just against Turkey but also against whole NATO members. It is clear demonstration of hostility. I expect NATO to hold a meeting and try to take a decision.

It was really disturbing that foreign press was always pushing Turkey against a war with Syria. Especially U.S. media… Turkish government’s effort to stay away from a possible war was admirable. I appreciate the attitude. What happened today is huge however  Turkish Government kept cool and won a point whilst Syrian side acting ridiculously incautious.  It’s like they are asking for a war that never should happen, but if they force it, eventually they will have one. In case of war, Assad will face a strong military force which must be an unpleasant situation while the whole world against him already. It is irrational to start a war, isn’t it? So why shot an unarmed friendly plane?

No reason !  I tried to answer that question but… no… there is not a single rational reason. A few of columnist, both foreign and Turkish, indicated a conspiracy: ” It is Isreal who made the decision.” Quite horrific ! Hope that’s not true.

Another point, I presume U.S. naval forces (sixth fleet) which has presence in the Mediterranean and U.K. forces based in Cyprus will have something to say.

To sum up, in my opinion this attack may lead to a war that is inspired by international war lobby. Long shot, I hear you saying…  Why not? Take a look at Iraq war?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an experienced figure in the international arena. It takes a lot to take him down. I believe he will do what is necesary to keep country away from war. This is what should be done.

I will continue to notify you about updates.