NATO has approved of stationing US-made Patriot missiles along Turkey’s border, for what it claims is “defense.” Over the past two years Syria has been fighting terrorists armed, funded, and equipped by NATO, of which Turkey is a member. Turkey has admitted its role in harboring and providing logistics for foreign fighters flooding across the border into Syria, many of whom are confirmed members of Al Qaeda. Despite this, Syria has gone through extraordinary lengths to avoid a confrontation with Turkey.
Turkey sent troops and fighter jets into Iraq Wednesday in “hot pursuit” of Kurdish rebels who killed more than 25 Turkish soldiers in multiple attacks in the southern Turkish province of Hakkari. It was the first cross-border violence in five years between Turkish troops and Kurdish guerrillas who Turkey says shelter in northern Iraq. Read more here:
Turkey’s military has confirmed further air strikes against Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq.It said nine attacks were carried out by Turkish aircraft on hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), mostly in the Qandil region.Last Wednesday the military said it had carried out similar strikes, a day after eight Turkish soldiers and 26 PKK rebels were killed in clashes.
“Today NATO agreed to augment Turkey’s air defense by deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey. Turkey has asked for NATO’s support and we stand with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity,” said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.“To Turkish people we say, we are determined to defend you and your territory. To anyone who would want to attack Turkey, we say, don’t even think about it. “
This is stated explicitly in the corporate-financier funded Brookings Institution document, “Middle East Memo #21 Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf),” which reads:
However, securing Turkey’s and Jordan’s participation may be challenging because both Amman and Ankara appear reluctant to host a Syrian opposition army involved in large-scale operations.They fear Syrian vengeance in the form of terrorism or support for unrest on their own soil, and would have to be convinced that the risk was worth the effort; they may even need to be provided with security guarantees and assistance.In addition, Jordan and Turkey would fear that arming the opposition and escalating the fighting could lead to spillover into their own countries or into Iraq and Lebanon, inflaming strife throughout the region. Given the fragility of all of Syria’s Arab neighbors, stoking the flames of Syria’s civil war should not be undertaken lightly, and arming the opposition might require Western support to all of Syria’s neighbors to help them cope with spillover. (Page 6)
An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.” (Page 4)
“The no-fly zone. Which by the way, does not mean that we go after Bashar’s air defenses. It means that we emplace anti-air missiles in place and I guarantee you, first Syrian aircraft we shot down that would be the last one to fly over a no-fly zone. A place where they ~ a Benghazi. A Benghazi where they can organize, where they can train where they can equip where we can find out who the good guys and the bad guys are in this effort to form a revolutionary council that will be effective. and also frankly to counter what is the increasing influence of Al Qaeda and extremists who are pouring in from all over the Middle East.”
I think Patriot missiles ~ now the Germans are moving some patriot missiles under some kind of weird circumstances but at least they are coming into Turkey. Or we could give them a limited number, a controlled number of MANPADS. But primarily I think it would just be a Patriot installation. Pilots are not going to fly into certain death. I don’t care how brave they are. And you shoot down one or two of them, they’re not going to fly there again. They may like Bashar al-Assad, but they like to live a little more.