Tension between Ankara and Damascus has escalated since Syria shot down a Turkish fighter jet in Syrian air space with Turkey in response now moving dozens of military vehicles to the border.
Press TV has interviewed Jamal Wakim, political analyst from Beirut, about the rising pressure between Turkey and Syria and the stance of NATO in this crisis. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
What is your reading regarding Turkey sending a convoy of military trucks to the border areas?
This is an attempt by Turkey to mount pressure on Syria, but it is still far from being direct military involvement by Turkey in Syrian affairs.
I believe this comes at a time when the US is also trying to mount its diplomatic pressures and political pressures on Syria, especially that they need to try to convince international convention that it needs their help soon in order to sort out the Syrian crisis.
I believe this is a step toward mounting diplomatic and political pressure on Syria, but it’s still far from being a full-fledged military involvement by Turkey in Syrian affairs or in Syrian territory.
On the one hand you have Turkey sending their convoy to the border and on the other hand you have Saudi Arabia that has put its military on high alert. What is your reading behind these two incidents combined?
Definitely this comes as part of what I discussed before as the political pressure on Syria. Maybe this is also an attempt to hold safe havens inside the Syrian territories in northern Syria for military groups or armed insurgents against the Syrian authorities.
But we need to wait for the Russian and Iranian response to this. I believe that the Russians and the Iranians will not be silent towards this rise in the pressure from Syria’s foes.
NATO has shown no interest in terms of any type of military intervention as it was relayed by the press conference that was held after the emergency meeting that Turkey called in which the NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen pretty much supported Turkey, but obviously shy of any motivation behind military intervention.
Were Turkey to get engaged somehow with Syria, do you think NATO would be behind Turkey in that sense?
Definitely they will be supporting Turkey, but they will not be involved directly in the conflict. But I believe that NATO is trying to give cover for Turkey in case it wants to get involved in a limited military operation in Syria to give the best cover and just to face the Russian pressure on Turkey in this case.