May 12, 2013

Now, Turkey

Now, Turkey. Two car bombings killed at least 47 people and injured 140 more in a border town in a region full of Syrian refugees on Saturday. Turkish authorities blamed groups related to the regime of Bashar Al Assad. Ahmet Davutoglu, the foreign minister, said Turkey reserved the right to take “every kind of measure” after the attacks, despite Damascus has denied any involvement.  Another step to escalation in the Syrian war. Another reason to try to hold conversations as soon as possible to see where each player stands in this complicated conflict.

We have Israel in the South that has attacked already bombing positions in Syria and the promise from Damascus that it has “open all the doors” to answer. The Israeli bombings were explained as an indirect attack against Iran sending weapons (missiles) to Hezbollah’s bases in Syria.

Now, an attack from Syria in Turkey with a high dead toll and the promise from Ankara to take “every kind of measure” against Damascus from the North. In this case, the Turks have the promise of help of the US: The Secretary of State John Kerry reacted with a rotund  “we stand with our ally, Turkey”.

And then this came after the news that the Russian government, that agreed with the US to hold conversations on Syria, is sending to the regime of Al Assad anti-aircraft equipment with more than 100 missiles sold in 2010 – they explain – and pending of delivery. Russia explained that this are defensive weapons. “It is designed so that Syria, in this case, should have the ability to protect itself from airstrikes, something we know that is not an entirely fantastical scenario,” said Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov referring clearly to the Israeli air strikes without naming them.

This equipment would be a problem also for one of the options they are talking about to stop the air strikes from Damascus on civil areas if there is not a political agreement to stop the fighting, which is establish a non-fly zone over Syrian territory. Something the Obama administration doesn’t want, because  to enforce it would need a coalition or the now unthinkable intervention of NATO. Anyway, would need sending Americans to the Region. Another international war in the Middle East, and at the borders of Israel. Something everybody in his administration is trying to avoid.

Let’s see if the International Peace Conference on Syria in May, accorded between the US and Russia was a reality and not only a wish. If really takes place, there are a lot of things to talk about given the facts of the last days.



About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Dialog and diplomacy, Middle East, World and Politics


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