Courtesy of Stop NATO
John Robles Interviews Rick Rozoff
Voice of Russia
October 4, 2012
Turkish civilians killed on Syrian border: NATO ready to “intervene?”
Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website, comments on NATO’s emergency meeting and its role in the settling of the issues regarding the recent Syria-Turkey shelling. He claims that “NATO countries and their Allies in the Persian Gulf aren’t going to back down”.
The ragtag groups of insurgents – we don’t even know their nationality in many instances – with different political orientations and different agendas in Syria are operating with complete impunity and with the active connivance of the Turkish government. It gives us reason to believe that the explosion could have been caused by them, by the rebels as well as by the Syrian government. However, I think it’s imperative that we recall that there were two bombings in the Syrian city of Aleppo that left 50 people killed and 122 people wounded. This is very close to the Turkish border. And it defies logic to not take into account the fact that these terrorist atrocities could well have been committed by individuals who have been allowed free passage across the Turkish border. But this is something countries do – they defend their borders. And to suggest that Syria has no right to do that is evidently another example of double standards.
I don’t think the issue was that they were defending. They’re saying that Syria bombed first apparently.
Nobody in their right mind is going to suggest that the Syrian government intentionally launched attacks inside Turkey. The very worst thing the Syrian government can be accused of doing is miscalculating and accidentally firing a mortal shell across the border. This is something entirely different than a planned act against a neighboring nation.
The NATO Council met last night and they have come out warning Syria to stop its “aggression against Turkey”. What do you make of this statement?
This was an emergency meeting of North Atlantic Council, it is one of the few occasion when it met at night. And the actual NATO statement includes the following passage, “In the spirit of indivisibility of security and solidarity deriving from the Washington Treaty, the Alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an Ally.”
That’s part of the statement. And Rasmussen was also quoted stating, “On our Southeastern border.” The Turkish-Syrian border is officially proclaimed as NATO’s Southeastern border. So, suggesting strongly, NATO sees the attacks as aggression against the entire alliance as well as against Turkey.
And these comments also contain the contention that “the Syrian regime’s recent aggressive acts” are “a flagrant breach of international law and a clear and present danger to the security of one of its Allies”.
What was discussed at the meeting is the so-called Article 4 provision in the Washington Treaty which states, “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” That certainly suggests that NATO once again reserves the right to respond collectively in alleged defense of Turkey.
Would you agree that they’re just waiting for the right chance to invade Syria?
That’s exactly it. What’s remarkable is exactly the day before the deputy foreign minister of Russia, Gennady Gatilov, warned reporters of potential NATO intervention against Syria. The quote from him says, “In our contacts with our partners both in NATO and in the region, including on international forums, we have called on them not to look for pretexts in order to carry out a [military] operation.” And a paraphrase of his comment stated explicitly that that some provocation could occur at the Turkish-Syrian border that may give NATO the green light to intervene in Syria.
Hypothetically, what if Bashar al-Assad condemns the deaths of the five Turkish citizens and initiates an investigation? Would that stop NATO? What do you think?
The Syrian government has already expressed regret over the deaths of the Turkish civilians, without being able to establish the cause of those deaths. And, I think, no matter what the Syrian government says or does, NATO countries and their Allies in the Persian Gulf aren’t going to back down
Turkey and Syria on Brink of War
Voice of Russia
October 4, 2012
The UN and NATO have condemned an incident of shelling across the Syrian-Turkish border. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Turkey not to break ties with Syria. NATO supports Turkey, but a collective military response to Syria’s action will not follow.
Turkey has asked the UN Security Council to take “necessary action” to stop Syrian “aggression”. A mother of a large family and her four children were killed and another 13 injured on Wednesday when a mortar shell fired from Syria hit a house in the border region of Akcakale.
Ankara believes that the attack was carried out by a Syrian military unit. In response, Turkey launched attacks on the Syrian territory from where the mortar attack was supposed to have been carried out. Syria’s Information Minister Omran Zoabi has expressed sincere condolences to the Turkish families of the victims and to the Turkish people. He confirmed that Damascus was determined to maintain peaceful relations with the Turkish people. He also noted that several terrorist groups had been operating in the border region, and their activity had posed a threat not only to Syria but also to security of the entire region.
In response to Turkey’s request, the NATO North Atlantic Council held an emergency meeting that fully supported Turkey and urged the Syrian regime to put an end to any aggressive actions immediately. At the same time, according to the Western press, it’s too early to say about the application of the 5th article of the Washington Treaty that provides for exercising the right for collective response by all NATO member countries in case of an armed attack on a member country.
The article was recalled in June when Syria’s air defence systems shot down a Turkish fighter jet. However, matters didn’t come to that.
At present, according to NATO sources, consultations are being held on the basis of information provided by Turkey. The sources insist that it’s too early to speculate on a possible collective response.
However, it’s not excluded that the Turkish army will receive a mandate to carry out operations on Syrian territory on Thursday. Here is a report from our special correspondent in Turkey Olga Khaldyz.
“Permission to carry out military operations outside Turkey will expire on the 17th of October. The Turkish parliament extends it annually to carry out special operations against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. On Thursday, the parliament will hold an emergency session that will most likely discuss the issue of granting permission to the Turkish army to carry out operations also on Syrian territory,” Olga Khaldyz said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tyyip Erdogan made this request Wednesday night. He insisted on the need to respond timely and swiftly and taking necessary measures against risks and threats to national security.
On his part, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged Ankara to keep channels of communications with Damascus open. They are necessary to ease tension triggered by the incident of shelling.