The first open report has appeared in the US media acknowledging outside armed intervention in Syria, something which Damascus has been alleging all along. The New York Times has reported that Turkey is aiding and abetting a Syrian insurgent group. The sudden burst of ‘glasnost’ is intriguing. It implies that a new phase of the western intervention in Syria is commencing. The world opinion is being sensitized. This was how it all began in Libya.
Turkey wouldn’t have the gumption to publicise so breezily that it is violating UN Charter and international law but for the confidence that it is acting as the US’s frontman. This is a historic moment, too – cavalierly abandoning Kemal Ataturk’s 8-decade old red line that Turkey should not get into entanglements in the Muslim world but should instead focus on its ‘modernisation’ by looking toward Europe.
The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton is visiting Turkey in November and VP Joe Biden in December. Washington is paying flattering attention to Turkey these days. Barack Obama chats up with Turkish PM Recep Erdogan every now and then. Reuters reported that US is providing Turkey gratis with high-tech military equipments. This is on top of reports that Turkey has requested the US to leave behind some of the advanced weapons it had been using in Iraq, even as the US withdrawal from Iraq continues – including Predator aircraft.
But Turkey won’t be satisfied with military aid alone. It needs more incentives – money, for instance, and lots of it, which it will say it needs to undertake all those expensive subversive activities against Syria. Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu visited Qatar this week. Qatar funded the western military intervention in Libya. Turkey would expect the Qatari emir to loosen his purse strings liberally for meting the costs of its intervention in Syria. Qatar of course is more than willing, it is volunteering, it is virtually beseeching Turkey to take as much money as it wants, provided Ankara somehow topples the regime in Damascus. Behind Qatar stands Saudi Arabia, too, which is close to the leadership of the AKP, Turkey’s ruling party, as well.
Davutoglu also paid a visit to Amman. Syria has all along alleged a Jordanian hand in fomenting dissent within Syria and in supplying weapons to the opposition. A pincer move is on the cards against Syria – from the Turkish intelligence in the north and the Jordanian intelligence in the south. There have been reports from Lebanon that Syria is planting mines along its border as a defensive measure in the south.
Clearly, the regional alignment is crystalising – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan forming the axis to bring about the ‘regime change’ in Syria. This was the very same axis that worked for the West in the Libyan intervention, too.
The missing link in all this shadow play has been so far Israel. But Turkey has begun softening its rhetoric toward israel. Ankara included Israel as one of the 30 countries it sought relief assistance for the Van earthquake victims. Israel promptly despatched to Ankara airport 3 big aircraft full of supplies. The ice has been broken.
Most importantly, it has come to light that the US’s ABM radar that Nato plans to deploy in Turkey will also supply intelligence to israel on Iran’s missile capability. Turkey apparently knew this all along, but it didn’t mind. Turkey’s main opposition party CHP has alleged that PM Recep Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric has all along been theatrics aimed at confusing the Arab street and to cover up his dealings as the US’s ABM partner in the region.
Posted in Politics.
– October 28, 2011