Turkish Parliament Approves Military Attack on Syria

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 4, 2012

The Turkish Parliament authorized on Thursday to send troops to Syria. The motion was debated yesterday after the death of five people in a Turkish village by falling shells from Syrian territory. The Syrian government had already apologized for the attack, but such an apology wasn’t enough for the Turkish leadership which was waiting for the slightest sign of an attack to justify its intervention in Syrian internal affairs.

The decision was approved with 320 votes in favor from the government’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition MHP, and 129 against from the social democratic and pro-Kurdish BDP CHP .

Tensions between Syria and Turkey, which supports Syrian insurgents, publicly entertained the idea of an attack yesterday during a meeting held by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and two other members of his cabinet. The Turkish army had already bombed Syrian territory in response to the attacks, even though it is not clear who launched such attacks against Turkish neighboring towns. For all it is known, the attack on Turkish land could very well be a false-flag carried out by Turkish supported rebel groups in an attempt to justify a stronger military intervention against the Syrian people.

Syrian Minister of Information, Omran Zoabi, had announced the opening of an investigation into the origin of the border bombing and offered its condolences “to the families and friends of the Turkish people.” However, Turkey decided to launch air attacks on Syrian territory, which resulted in the murder of soldiers, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), a government opposition group. Some of the deaths occurred at a military checkpoint in the province of Al REQA.

The attacks launched from Syrian territory caused an immediate response from friends and foes of Bashar al-Assad. Russia immediately demanded that Syria confirmed that the killing of Turkish people was not an act of Syrian troops. “We have made contact with the Syrian side through our ambassador. We have ensured that (…) what happened was a tragic accident and that measures will be taken to avoid new accidents,” said Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called the attacks an “outrage” and said it was “very, very dangerous” because violence was spreading across Syrian borders. Along with Clinton, the European Union’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton, said that “these violations of the sovereignty of Turkey can not be tolerated” before impinging on the incident illustrates the spillover effect of the Syrian crisis. Ms. Ashton did not have an opinion regarding Turkey’s role in the continuous attacks against Syrian territory. She did not condemn the coordinated attacks carried out by rebels supported by the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, whose terrorist groups operate directly from Turkish territory.

The politically weakened German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for restraint on both parties, but made it clear that his government is “on the side of Turkey”, with which it maintains close contact. So Merkel supports terrorism as long as it not carried out against Germany’s allies in the region. Another accomplice of western colonialist forces is France, whose Foreign Minister meanwhile considered the attack launched from Syria, a “serious threat to peace and international security.”

Laurent Fabius said that “the international community can not accept that the Syrian regime continued their acts of violence both inside and outside its borders. He then called for military intervention by the west by saying that it is an issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

The British Foreign Minister, William Hague, called the attack “outrageous” and added that Syria’s deterioration — which is being caused by terrorist groups supported by the western nations such as France, the United States, and England — poses a real danger to the region.

Perhaps Mr. Hague should then call for an immediate end of the attacks carried out by western and eastern allied forces on Syria, which is what keeps the country on fire up until today.

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Iranian military shipped to Syria to help Assad

Prominent Syrian lawmaker says the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force has recently arrived in the country to help manage Assad’s regime brutal suppression of a 11-month-long popular unrest.

By Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz
February 7, 2012

A top Iranian military official is activily aiding the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in suppressing popular unrest throughout the country, a top member of the National Syrian Council said on Monday.

According to the Syrian official, Kassam Salimani, commander of the Quds Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces unit, has arrived in Syria recently and has taken up a spot in the war room which manages army maneuvers against opposition forces.

The war room is also reportedly populated by Assad himself, as well as his brother Maher, brother-in-law Assaf Shaukat and cousin Rami Makhlouf, with the Syrian chief of staff’s authority reportedly restricted and divided up between other military commanders.

The Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers who operated, among other locations, in Iraq during the war, and the specialty of which is engaging in unconventional warfare on foreign soil. Among other duties, the Quds Force is in charge of traning and funding Hezbollah.

Salimani’s presence in Syria serves as an indication of the kind of battle that Assad is planning against opposition forces, with the Syrian army reportedly planning to wage all out war against the rebel city of Homs.

According to the report, the Syrian president’s goal is to gain ground ahead of a planned visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will be arriving in the country along with a military delegation which includes the head of Russian intelligence.

Assad’s aim, sources say, is to display his control of the situation and his ability to suppress the unrest, with the determining battles to be staged in Homs and in the reoccupation of the town of Zabadani, which fell to Free Syria Army forces.

An Al-Arabiya report indicated that the battle over Zabadani has already begun, with Syrian soldiers defecting to the opposition along with eight tanks, and that Homs has been placed under a siege which has included the cutting of electricity and water supplies.

The report also claimed that the Syrian army for the first time has been using rockets in order to target houses as well as mortars to hit populated areas. So far, 60 people were reportedly killed and hundreds wounded in this battle, as well as reports of the demolition of seven houses, residents and all.

Syrian opposition organizations that are active internationally are currently trying to gain a political front bypassing the UN Security Council, where a resolution underwritten by the Arab League failed due to Russian and Chinese vetoes on Saturday.

At this stage, opposition leaders are trying to find a way forward, as it is clear that Turkey and the Arab states oppose military action against the Assad regime, and the imposing of economic sanctions will not stop Assad.

Facing Russia and Chinese opposition, and the Iranian threat to open a new front, there is doubt whether a western coalition will agree to act directly against Syria. The question is whether the Free Syrian Army will be able to get additional military assistance, and to arm itself with heavy artillery, tanks and shells so that it will be able to pose a real challenge to the Syrian army, and change the civilian resistance into a real military struggle, much like the rebel forces in Libya.

Along with the Syria Free Army’s attempts to increase the number of defectors from the Syrian military, the opposition is also considering offering the minority Alawite elite guarantees of their safety in exchange for ordering Alawites to leave the regime and join the civilian resistance.

Along with the Syria Free Army’s attempts to increase the number of defectors from the Syrian military, the opposition is also considering offering the minority Alawite elite guarantees of their safety in exchange for ordering Alawites to leave the regime and join the civilian resistance.

Parallel to these efforts, however, the opposition seems to be facing a new and violent civilian group that is comprised mainly of Syria’s Kurdish minority. This group is working as strongmen for the regime, both in Damascus and in Kurdish population centers.