Syria prepares for war against Turkey

Syria prepares for war against Turkey

Rufiz Hafizoglu, Trend Middle East Desktop Head

Though the Arab League presented a plan of prevention of bloody clashes in Syria, no one doubts that the plan will come to grief shortly and that the confrontation will go on.

That Syrian President Bashar Asad still remains at power, despite a long confrontation, illustrates that the Syrian Government is not as weak as supposed before; on contrary, the Government has had a rather strong immunity to counteract what goes on.

Indeed, this problem is not at all new for the Damascus political elite.

If we look back to the past we can see that when the Muslim Brothers seized Hama in 1982 the Hafiz Asad regime very "simply" resolved the problem through bombarding the town. Since then, movement Muslim Brothers disappeared from Syria's political life.

At the time, the action of Hafiz Asad was regarded as a step necessary to prevent the Islamic fundamentalism; however, what goes on in Syria today is not too much indicative of the Islamic factor, which, nevertheless, should not be ignored fully.

On contrary, movement Muslim Brothers, recognized by the US as a terrorist organization prior to the Egyptian revolution and quoted as reporting that it is ready to negotiate after the revolution, exists.

In June, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States, by taking the change of the political forces in Egypt into account, will restore links with all political parties, including the Muslim Brothers.

Of course, it is no possible to predict now how relations between the US and the Muslim Brothers will develop, with the unstable situation in the region in mind.

At the background of events occurring in Syria, one of interesting aspects drawing attention is the relations among Ankara, Damascus and Tehran, which form "the Middle Eastern triangle".

Undoubtedly, each of the three counties pursues its own interest in the happening events.
While Damascus tries to keep stability in the country and Asad Government afloat, Tehran tries to keep its interests in the region at Syria's expense- Shiite Crescent because change of power in Syria may "cut off the hand" of Iran's help to Lebanon; in other words, Iran will not be able to provide obstacle-free assistance to Lebanon.

Ankara that pretends for the Ottoman rule thinks if Tehran's positions in the region become weaker it will become the force that can easily fill in this empty space.

Turkish newspaper Sabah quoted intelligence services as reporting that Syria closely cooperates with Israel to detect the opposition in the country. According to the report, Israeli unmanned aircraft report the entire information of events occurring in town Hama, considered the center of confrontation, to Syrian intelligence. The newspaper also notes that the unmanned aircraft that crashed in Adana on November 11 had been designed to track camps in Syrian town Hatay.

Compared to the initial stage of events when the Syrian Government fully reckoned on the Army, that Colonel Riyadh Musa and Hussein Hormush, Colonel of the Kurdish origin deserted from the Army and established a Free Syrian Army forced the Syrian political elite to revise its policy on the military whereas President Bashar Asad's brother Mahir Asia was instructed to carry out special "reforms" in the Army.

As for the Hussein Hormush, the Colonel of Kurdish origin, the Syrian opposition claims he first escaped to Turkey, then was exchanged by Turkish intelligence into Turkish officers who had been arrested in Syria, and finally executed in Syria.

Exactly the execution of Colonel Hussein Hormush has caused a sharp protest of Kurds.

One of the reasons of failure of the Syrian revolution also was the absence of army that could have fought the Government.

Establishment of the Free Syrian Army may become one of factors that will weaken the Asad Government.

At the background of these events, Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed al-Muallim made an interesting statement. "If necessary, we will fight for keeping the Government and for stability," he said.

Naturally, such statement of a Syrian official having sufficient political experience is not a mere coincidence and addresses not his country. Beyond any doubts, the statement addresses Turkey.
The Syrian political elite knows well that the Arab League, which fears that the revolution wave will spread over its member states, will not undertake serious steps against Damascus at a time when Ankara is the real threat.

Even Riyadh Shufka, Head of the Muslim Brothers Syrian Office, said the Syrian nation wants Turkey not the West to interfere.

This is to conclude that Ankara will begin military interference with processes occurring in Syria sooner or later. Nevertheless, this will not be too easy for Turkey, which understands that the card of the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK can be played against Ankara, which stands "face to face" to the organization.

It is not ruled out that following the assumed interference by Ankara, Bashar Asad, who fears that he will share the fate of Qaddafi after his government is overthrown, may be given asylum in Iran.

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