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Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

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  • Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    [16.09.13] Turkish warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter

  • #2
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    [17.09.13] Car bomb explosion at rebel checkpoint at Turkish-Syrian border


    • #3
      Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

      Looks like Turkey is providing aircover for the rebels.
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • #4
        Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey


        October 2, 2013 - 19:01 AMT

        PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish parliament is likely to extend by a year
        a mandate authorizing the sending of troops into Syria if needed after
        the government said the possible use of chemical weapons by President
        Bashar al-Assad posed a threat to Turkey, according to Reuters.

        The government motion, due to be voted on by parliament on Thursday,
        Oct 3, paints a bleak picture of the conflict in its southern neighbor
        and says Turkey would be the country the most affected by escalating
        violence there.

        "Developments show that the Syrian regime has reached a point where
        it is ready to use any methods or weapons against international law,"
        the motion said.

        Ankara and Western nations have blamed Syrian government forces a nerve
        gas attack on a Damascus suburb on August 21 that killed hundreds. The
        Syrian government, backed by Russia, blames the Sunni rebels.

        "Turkey is the country which will be most affected by any attacks by
        the regime and the uncertainty and chaos in Syria," the government
        motion said.

        Through its rights drawn from international law, Turkey is obliged to
        take necessary measures against any kind of action from Syria which
        presents an "open and near threat," it said.

        Turkey, one of Assad's fiercest critics, has advocated military
        intervention in Syria and has grown frustrated over what it sees as
        Western indecisiveness.

        While it has the second-largest military land force in NATO, it is
        unlikely to act alone in any military operation, with public opinion
        largely against intervention.

        A current parliament mandate allowing Turkey to send troops into Syria
        expires on Friday. The ruling AK Party has a strong parliamentary
        majority and the extension is expected to pass despite opposition,
        especially from the main pro-Kurdish party.

        Turkey, which shares a 900 km border with Syria, has seen the conflict
        frequently spill across its frontier and has responded in kind when
        mortars and shells fired from Syria have hit its soil, in some cases
        killing Turkish civilians.

        Turkish warplanes shot down a Syrian helicopter last month after it
        crossed into Turkish air space, one of the most serious cross-border
        incidents of the two-and-a-half year conflict, drawing a rebuke
        from Damascus.

        Turkey is also sheltering a quarter of the 2 million people who have
        fled the Syrian conflict.

        It has bolstered its defenses and deployed additional troops on its
        border with Syria in recent weeks, with convoys of military vehicles
        ferrying equipment and personnel and additional short-range air
        defenses set up.

        Hayastan or Bust.


        • #5
          Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

          Interfax, Russia
          Oct 4 2013

          Insurgents from Syria could start infiltrating Caucasus soon - Russian
          drug control chief

          YEREVAN/MOSCOW. Oct 4

          Viktor Ivanov, the chief of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service,
          warns that insurgents from Syria could start infiltrating the Caucasus

          "Aside from the obvious process of rapid destabilization of the entire
          region, it is necessary to carefully analyze the vector of expected
          redeployment of foreign mercenaries from Syria overhanging the
          Caucasus, which is only 600 kilometers away," Ivanov said at a
          ceremony of closing Operation Channel Caucasus under the Common
          Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) auspices in Yerevan on Friday.

          "Our experts are predicting that foreign mercenaries in Syria, who
          have been structured into paramilitary groups competing with each
          other, will be out of the running in the near future and will swarm
          toward the Caucasus," Ivanov said.

          Once in the Caucasus, the Syrian fighters will be trying "to harness
          the gold-bearing transit of Afghan drugs, which would bring them
          radically larger profits than they have now," he said.

          "The number of extremist international mercenaries concentrated in
          Syria is extremely large. And our task is to plan systemic measures to
          undermine the drug transit infrastructure in the Caucasus so as to
          prevent the building of financial, organizational, and logistical
          basis for this scum in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region," Ivanov

          "The greater Caucasus is under strong pressure of huge masses of
          Afghan heroin and hashish," he said.

          Over 12 tonnes of drugs, including 10.5 tonnes of Afghan opiates,
          among it over 600 kilos of heroin, was seized during Operation Channel
          Caucasus, in which 50,000 security officers from Armenia, Belarus,
          Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan took part, Ivanov said.

          Ivanov said earlier that up to 100,000 people die in Russia yearly
          from drugs. He said also that 8.5 million people in Russia take drugs
          regularly or sporadically, and 18.5 million Russians have tried drugs
          at least once in their life.

          Hayastan or Bust.


          • #6
            Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

            The Washington Post
            October 5, 2013 Saturday
            Regional Edition

            Christians in Syria face growing hostility

            by Loveday Morris

            When radical Islamists tore down a cross and hoisted a black flag
            above a church in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah last week, their
            action underscored the increasingly hostile environment for the
            country's Christians.

            Although Syria is majority Sunni Muslim, it is one of the most
            religiously and ethnically diverse countries in the Middle East, home
            to Christians, Druze, and Shiite-offshoot Alawites and Ismailis. But
            the country's conflict, now in its third year, is threatening that

            While the primary front in the war has pitted Sunni against Shiite,
            Christians are increasingly caught in the line of fire. The perception
            that they support the government - which is in many cases true - has
            long made them a target of rebel groups. Now, Christians say radical
            Islamist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an
            affiliate of al-Qaeda, are determined to drive them from their homes.

            "The Christian community in Syria is stuck between two fires," said
            Nadim Nassar, a Syrian from Latakia who is director of the Awareness
            Foundation, an interfaith charity based in Britain. "One fire is a
            corrupt regime, and everybody agrees there needs to be a change. And
            on the other hand, there's a fragmented and diverse opposition on the
            ground who can't control jihadist forces coming from outside the

            Syria is not the only place in the wider region where Christians are
            being targeted. Coptic churches in Egypt have been attacked, and
            Pakistan last week experienced the deadliest church bombing in the
            country's history. The militants who attacked a mall in Nairobi last
            month singled out non-Muslims.

            The rash of assaults has led some to question the future of
            Christianity in Syria, where adherents make up about 10 percent of the
            population, and in the wider Middle East.

            Syria's ruling Assad family, which belongs to the Alawite sect, has
            long painted itself as the protector of Syria's minorities. Though
            leaders of Syria's opposition have pledged to provide minorities with
            equality in a new Syria, they are unable to control the growing number
            of hard-line Islamist forces on the ground.

            The Western-backed Syrian Opposition Coalition denounced the
            desecration of the churches in Raqqah, calling it an act that showed
            "complete disregard to holy sites and religious and cultural

            But the rejection of the opposition coalition by 13 rebel factions
            that announced an Islamic alliance last week highlighted the group's
            lack of influence.

            In Syria's war, bishops have been kidnapped and priests have been
            killed. When the fighting last month reached the ancient town of
            Maaloula - where residents still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus
            - it struck at the heart of Syria's Christian community.

            Most residents have fled since rebels swept through the picturesque
            town, which clings to the mountains northwest of the capital,

            "Maaloula is like Jerusalem to Syrian Christians," said Ibrahim
            Doushi, a Syrian Christian shop owner who moved to neighboring
            Lebanon. "When the war reached there, it was heartbreaking for all the
            Christians in the Middle East."

            The fighting in Maaloula was followed by the images from Raqqah, where
            the ISIS desecrated the Greek Catholic and Armenian Catholic churches,
            according to activist groups. The radical Islamist group also has
            attacked Shiite shrines and mosques.

            For Doushi, who fled to Lebanon last year from the town of Ras al-Ayn,
            near the Turkish border, the footage of the ISIS's black flag flying
            above the Armenian church was confirmation that he and his family have
            no future in his home country.

            "Christians are being torn from our roots," he said. The ISIS
            militants "are proud of it. They are targeting the Christians and they
            are publicizing it. The regime cannot protect us."

            Doushi said he was forced to leave Ras al-Ayn after Islamist fighters
            entered the town late last year and targeted the homes and businesses
            of Christians. The 61-year-old's new, temporary residence, housing
            seven members of his extended family, is St. Gabriel's monastery in
            the mountain village of Ajaltoun, 12 miles north of Beirut.

            Many at the monastery say they are pinning their hopes on obtaining
            European visas, citing doubts that there will ever be a day that Syria
            can offer security to its minorities, at least in rebel-held areas.

            "The Christians are never going back," said Johnny Chamoun, 42, also
            from Ras al-Ayn, who works at the monastery coordinating assistance
            for Syrian Christian refugees.

            Nassar, the interfaith foundation director, said it is the first time
            in centuries that Christians in Syria have been targeted for their

            "We are not imported there. Christ was not born under Big Ben or in
            Paris," he said. "This is the cradle of Christianity that we are being
            pushed from."
            Hayastan or Bust.


            • #7
              Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey


              FARS News Agency, Iran
              October 8, 2013 Tuesday

              TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called
              on the senior political and security members of his cabinet to keep
              secret any news about Ankara's relations and cooperation with Tel
              Aviv on different issues, including Syria, sources said.

              "Erdogan had a very important meeting with his cabinet members,
              including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Interior Minister
              Muammar Guler, National Defense Minister Ismat Yilmaz, Security
              Chief Hakan Fydan, Head of the IHH (Turkish Islamic charity known
              as the Freedom Flotilla) Fahmy Bulent Ildirim and a number of his
              advisors on September 21," one of the aides present at the meeting
              told FNA on Tuesday. The source who asked to remain anonymous due
              to the sensitivity of his information added that during the meeting,
              "Erdogan voiced extreme displeasure with the leak of information about
              different aspects of Turkey's relations with Israel, and called on all
              the relevant governmental bodies to keep such news secret and punish
              those who disobey the order even if they are close people to Erdogan".

              Other officials attending the meeting also raised the issues which
              are being pursued by the Turkish and Israeli officials, to be
              further discussed, the source said, adding that the issues included
              "cooperation between Israel and Turkey on the outlawed Kurdish Workers'
              Party (PKK), the Syrian issue, peace talks between the Palestinians
              and Israel and foiling Armenian lobby's attempts in the US against
              Turkey as well as consultations between Tel Aviv and Ankara to
              persuade Washington to wage military attack on Syria". Syria has
              been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by
              well-armed gangs and foreign-backed terrorist groups against not just
              the Syrian police, border guard and army troops, but also people being
              reported across the country. Tens of thousands of people, including
              members of the security forces, have been killed since some protest
              rallies turned into armed clashes. The government blames outlaws,
              saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that
              the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad. In October 2011, calm
              was almost restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a
              reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US, its Arab allies
              and Turkey sought hard to bring the country into chaos through any
              possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington, Ankara and some Arab capitals
              have been staging various plots to topple President Bashar al-Assad,
              who is well known in the world for his anti-Israeli stances.
              Hayastan or Bust.


              • #8
                Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey


                October 29, 2013 - 16:52 AMT

                PanARMENIAN.Net - Islamists set fire to Surp Khach Armenian church
                in Tel Abyad town in northeast Syria.

                According to Beirut-based Aztag daily, the arson was committed by
                members of al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Levant group,
                who took the cross off the church and torched it.

                Armenians have been living in Tel Abyad since 1915. The church was
                built in 1932 and reconstructed in 1996. Before the war, it also
                hosted a Sunday school.

                10,000 Armenians fled to Armenia while 5,000 found shelter in
                neighboring Lebanon.

                More than 115,000 people have been killed in Syria war, including
                tens of thousands of soldiers, rebels and civilians.

                Hayastan or Bust.


                • #9
                  Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

                  A U.S. official has confirmed Israeli aircraft carried out a strike near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia. The unnamed official told the BBC Israel targeted Russian-made missiles it believed were bound for the militant group Hezbollah. It is believed to be the sixth Israeli attack on Syria this year.
                  Hayastan or Bust.


                  • #10
                    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey


                    Where was the Russian veto/threats etc etc.

                    Looks like a game of nerves rather than anything conclusive.

                    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests