Syria’s Neighbors have Rising Anxiety about Crisis (Three Aljazeera Videos)

Turkey is strategizing how to limit the impact of the Syria war on Turkey. Ankara is particularly concerned by the emergence of a relatively autonomous Kurdish area in northern Syria, fearing that PKK guerrillas might find refuge there. Turkey is also deeply worried about chemical weapons falling into hands of various sorts of guerrillas. Turkey would like the conflict to end sooner rather than later.

Israel’s government is also increasingly worried about the impact of Syria’s crisis on that country, and is particularly concerned that Syria’s chemical weapons might fall into the hands of the Shiite Hizbullah party-militia or into those of radical Sunnis.

Then there is the bombshell that Hizbullah dropped this week, that it is increasingly involved in fighting around Qusayr in Syria.

Hizbullah’s military role in Syria has been denounced by the Lebanese Sunnis. Christian leaders have for the most part called for the Lebanese army to patrol the border and try to keep the conflict in Syria from spilling over onto Lebanon. I.e., they are also critical of Hizbullah’s activities.

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4 Responses

  1. Multiple stories today confirming Israel’s airstrke in Syria. If the US and other nations are concerned that outside military force applied to Syria is unwise, why do stories about Israel doing the same avoid including the same arguments? What makes it ok for Israel to bomb in Syria? What reason do Americans have to believe Israel’s justification for that strike? Israel is absolutely no more accurate in their bombing than the US, is probably less concerned about collateral damage, and may well have agendas other than stated. Is the chemical weapon/WMD excuse in action again? WMD’s are a great cover. As per the other active post on this site, what, if anything, changes if the strike had been performed by a drone? If we can’t draw distinctions between the offensive use of manned and unmanned aircraft we have no ability to judge how to use drones.

    • @JamesL:

      The initial reports are that a chemical weapons research facility was bombed outside of Damascus and also two military bases were hit with aerial bombardment.

      Syria claims that rebels were fighting in the area and the bombing assisted them.

      The Morsi government in Egypt has already denounced the airstrikes and an Israeli official in the PM’s office has anonymously confirmed Israel authorized the bombings.

      Israel’s conduct in this episode does violate international law and the reality is that the U.N. Security Council is hamstrung due to the onmipresent U.S. veto on matters of condemnation against Israel.

  2. Instead of worrying about a Kurdish state, Turkey should become its greatest champion. They should come out in favor of a Kurdish homeland that includes the Kurdish areas of Iran, Iraq, Syria and, yes, a little slice of eastern Turkey – either as part of a binational Turkish-Kurdish state (Turkurdia?) or as the guarantor of the security of an independent Kurdistan that is closely bound to Turkey economically, militarily, and culturally.

    Don’t think of it as losing a small slice of Turkey’s rural east; think of it as gaining the the Kirkuk oil fields.

  3. Don’t forget Iraq.

    Maliki’s Shiite leadership was already paranoid of the disgruntled Sunni Iraqi minority and now the spillover of Salafist extremists from Syria. It has seen a great increase in violent terrorism and sectarianism in April mostly committed by local and foreign Sunni insurgents even targeting other Iraqi Sunnis who unfortunately have also seen the brutal crackdown by the govt’s security forces against local Sunni protests.

    The govt has also shutdown local Arab news networks, 8 Sunni and 1 Shia, and even foreign Al Jazeera which is owned by the govt of Qatar (which is involved in backing the militants in Syria), accusing them of fuelling sectarian tensions, but others see the Iraqi govt as silencing opposition and critics.

    link to

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