Follow Countercurrents on Twitter 


Support Us

Submission Policy

Popularise CC

Join News Letter




Editor's Picks

Press Releases

Action Alert

Feed Burner

Read CC In Your
Own Language

Bradley Manning

India Burning

Mumbai Terror

Financial Crisis


AfPak War

Peak Oil



Alternative Energy

Climate Change

US Imperialism

US Elections


Latin America









Book Review

Gujarat Pogrom

Kandhamal Violence


India Elections



About Us


Fair Use Notice

Contact Us

Search Our Archive


Our Site


Subscribe To Our
News Letter

Name: E-mail:


Printer Friendly Version

Turkey Beefs Up Military Presence On The Syria Border
While US Considers Use Of Military Force

By Countercurrents.org

19 July 2013

Turkey is beefing up its military presence near Syria border while the US is considering the use of military force in Syria and the former UK Army chief said: We risk war with Syria . At the same time, there is report that Libyan weapons and foreign fighters are fuelling blood shed in Syria .

Citing Ihlas News Agency a Hurriyet Daily News report [1] said:

Turkey is beefing up its military presence along the Syrian border following clashes between People's Defense Units (YPG), the militant wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front.

Turkish F-16 jets and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were scrambled from their base in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir for patrolling over the border town of Ras al-Ayn.

YPG and al-Nusra Front have been engaged in a fight for three days in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, near the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also dispatched soldiers and tanks to the border. Turkey had returned fire into Syrian territory first on June 17, after shots fired from the Syrian side killed one Turkish citizen and seriously wounded another one.

A report by Philip Sherwell from New York [2] said:

Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he has provided the US president Barack Obama with options for military strikes in Syria .

He told a Senate hearing that under current conditions, he believed Syrian president Bashar Assad would still be in power in a year's time. "Currently the tide seems to have shifted in his favor," he said.

The Obama administration has said that it will supply small arms to Syrian rebels, but has so far resisted calls from some leading Senators to intervene with US military forces or implement a no-fly zone.

Gen Dempsey said that Mr Obama had asked him whether the US "could", but not whether it "should", stage a military intervention. The "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government," the general said.

But in a testy exchange with John McCain, the Republican Senator who is a leading advocate for US intervention, he refused to go into further details or give his opinion.

Gen Dempsey has previously expressed skepticism about deploying US force.

His deputy, Admiral James Winnefeld, said: "There are a whole range of options that are out there. We are ready to act if we're called on to act."

Gen Dempsey said that options presented to Mr Obama include "kinetic strikes" – military language for actions involving lethal force.

The Pentagon constantly updates military options for the White House. But Gen Dempsey's comments were the clearest yet that it is deliberating a direct intervention into the bloody conflict.

Those options would include missile strikes on key regime infrastructure, including chemical weapons sites, imposing no-fly zones or a ground invasion. Another course of action would be drone attacks against rebels linked to al-Qaeda if the administration decided to strike on both sides of the conflict.

There is particular concern that radical Islamists are gaining ground among the opposition.

Gen Dempsey's comments come the day after his British counterpart told The Daily Telegraph that Britain must be prepared to "go to war" if it wishes to restrain the Syrian regime by implementing no-fly zones and arming the rebels.

A report by Con Coughlin, Defense Editor and Robert Winnett, Political Editor, The Telegraph, UK , [3] said:

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, General Sir David Richards said that “if you want to have the material impact on the Syrian regime's calculations that some people seek” then “ground targets” would have to be “hit”.

The former Chief of the Defense Staff warns that the Government needs to clarify its “political objective” in Syria before a coherent military plan for dealing with the Assad regime can be recommended.

In recent days, the UK prime minister's enthusiasm for further intervention appears to have waned following private warnings from Sir David and Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, about the implications of being drawn further into the Syrian civil war.

Sir David stepped down as the country's most senior military officer on July 17, 2013 . In an interview with this newspaper he sets out his concerns about the complexity of the situation in Syria .

“There is a lack of international consensus on how to take this forward,” he said. “We are trying to cohere the opposition groups, but they are difficult to cohere because there are many different dimensions to them.

“So it is work in progress, so I am very clear in my military advice to the government that we need to understand what the political objective is before we can sensibly recommend what military effort and forces should be applied to it.”

The former chief of the defense staff also warns that simply introducing a no-fly zone on its own would not prove effective and that other military measures would be required.

Sir David said: “If you wanted to have the material impact on the Syrian regime's calculations that some people seek, a no fly zone per se is insufficient.

“You have to be able, as we did successfully in Libya , to hit ground targets.

“You have to establish a ground control zone. You have to take out their air defenses. You also have to make sure they can't maneuver – which means you have to take out their tanks, and their armored personnel carriers and all the other things that are actually doing the damage.

“If you want to have the material effect that people seek you have to be able to hit ground targets and so you would be going to war if that is what you want to do.”

The senior military officer described the situation as “highly complex”.

Sir David leaves the military following a bitter row over defense spending which has been heavily cut by the Coalition.

Tunis datelined report by Jamel Arfaoui said [4]:

Libyan weapons and foreign fighters are increasingly finding their way to the front lines of the Syrian conflict.

A number of recent reports have highlighted the leading role played by Libyans in arming rebel fighters in Syria .

"News of the discovery of smuggled weapons from Libya to other countries has become routine for Libyans. It is sounding like the weather bulletin provided by our television stations every day," Tripoli resident Younes El-Borai said in response to the latest news on arms smuggling.

There are no reliable official figures about this phenomenon but Libyan authorities have expressed concern on more than one occasion. On June 18th, the fourth battalion of Libya 's Shield forces announced the successful arrest of a group of outlaws in possession of 34 rockets in the city of Gharyan in the north-west of the country.

On June 2nd, Ali Zidan revealed that national security forces in Tobruk had foiled a smuggling operation of dozens of rockets that were on their way to the Egyptian border. Zidan said at the time that these weapons included 10 Milan rockets and about 50 Grad rockets as well as thermal rockets. They were discovered near the border town of Jaghbub .

Earlier this year, the UN published a report that noted Libyan weapons were spreading beyond the country's borders, from Mali to the Levant . The February 15th report from a panel created to investigate breaches of the Libyan arms embargo said weapons were sent from Libya to Syria "through networks and routes passing through either Turkey or northern Lebanon ".

"Transfers of military materiel have been organized from various locations in Libya , including Misrata and Benghazi . The significant size of some shipments and the logistics involved suggest that representatives of the Libyan local authorities might have at least been aware of the transfers, if not actually directly involved," the UN report stated.


[1] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-beefs-up-military-presence-near-syria-border-after-clashes.aspx?pageID=238&nID=51017&NewsCatID=341

[2] The Telegraph, UK , 18 July 2013 , “US 'considering military force in Syria '”


[3] 17 July 2013 , “Army chief: We risk war with Syria ”, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10186843/Army-chief-We-risk-war-with-Syria.html

[4] allafrica, 18 July 2013 “Libyan Weapons Fuel Syria Bloodshed”






Comments are moderated