Wednesday Jun 27, 201205:43 PM GMT
Turkey after NATO intervention in Syria
Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:42PM
Interview with Ali al-Ahmed, director of IGA
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I believe that the Turkish government is trying to bring NATO into the mix. There is probably a legal loophole here where if there is a conflict between Syria and Turkey, NATO has the legal coverage to intervene directly vis-à-vis Syria and that is maybe why this thing is being designed to do, is to provide a legal loophole and to allow the Turkish and NATO troops to intervene in Syria militarily.

Turkey has deployed a large number of tanks and other armored vehicles to the Syrian border amid rising tensions with Damascus over the downing of a Turkish fighter jet by the Syrian army.


The move comes hours after Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to retaliate against Damascus over the downing of its fighter jet.

Erdogan said that Turkey changes the rules of engagement with Syria and branded its former ally as "a clear and imminent threat".

Syrian military says that it had engaged the jet in the Syrian airspace “according to the laws that govern such situations.”

NATO has condemned Syria's downing of the Turkish jet as 'unacceptable' and promised support for Ankara.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi on Monday warned NATO against forging any anti-Syria conspiracy on the downing of the Turkish fighter jet.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Ali al-Ahmed, director of IGA, to hear his opinion on this issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: We have President Bashar al-Assad talking of a real situation of war as Turkey sends tanks along the border. I mean where is the situation headed?

Al-Ahmed: Well I think we might see some escalation, limited amount of escalation in the next few days or weeks because the Turkish plane violating Syrian airspace appears to be an intentional act because there is no doubt that the Turkish plane violated Syrian space and it was shot down within the confines of international law.

So the Turkish government has no act but to apologize to the Syrian government for violating the Syrian sovereign airspace.

So for the Turkish government to threaten Syria over the downing of plane that was violating international law seems to be odd. I think the Syrian government did the right thing by objecting to this but as well I think they should have maybe large complaint with the United Nations regarding this violation of border sovereignty.

I believe that the Turkish government is trying to bring NATO into the mix. There is probably a legal loophole here where if there is a conflict between Syria and Turkey, NATO has the legal coverage to intervene directly vis-à-vis Syria and that is maybe why this thing is being designed to do, is to provide a legal loophole and to allow the Turkish and NATO troops to intervene in Syria militarily.

Press TV: But the thing is that just how far can the situation get out of hand?

Al-Ahmed: I think the issues here are massive in terms of the implications to the region because if there is a war between the Turks and the Syrians or between Turkey and NATO on one hand and the Syrian government on the other hand, the whole region will probably be in flame because the Syrian government and army proved to be resilient so far despite the year-long conflict and this could prove again very devastating for the region especially at this time where the whole region is boiling and this [is] going to be very, very I think worse than anything we have seen in the region in the past few hundred years in terms of devastation.

Press TV: What makes Saudi Arabia and Qatar so interested in funding militant groups in Syria? I mean how does that serve their regional agenda?

Al-Ahmed: Well the Saudi and Qatari governments are trying to support their allies vis-à-vis Syria and Iran. The Saudi, especially the Saudi government see or view Syria as a base for Iranian influence in the region.

So they in order to combat the Iranian influence in the region in their mind they must bring down the Syrian regime, the Syrian government because it is an ally of the Iranian government and this way they win a new ally in Syria and also provide a free service to the Western powers and to Israel in fact because the new Syrian government will most likely be very friendly to Israel just as we saw in Libya.

So there are some geopolitical goals here but at the same time the Saudi government especially is trying to expand its influence in the Levant. After losing Iraq the Qataris are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood who they think that they are the godfather with the Muslim Brotherhood in the region because they fund them in Egypt and in Syria.

AHK/HGH
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