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The conflict between Turkey and Syria is heating up. On Sunday, June 30, the Turkish army sent six F-16 planes to do emergency takeoffs on their border with Syria in response to the three jets that the Syrian army sent over on Saturday. Turkey recognizes that last Saturday’s action was not a violation of Turkish air space, but the nearness of these planes was enough for them to order a response.
The reality is that Turkey has become more aggressive towards Syria since a Turkish F-4 was brought down by the Syrian troops on June 22. Turkish response came fast. Their armed forces deployed launchers and anti areal batteries missiles against Syria. Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that they will “regard… as a threat” any type of military element that gets close to the frontier.
Officially, Turkey does not want confrontation with Syria, but the reality is that they are putting pressure on others, such as the United States, to stop the Syrian conflict. Turkey has gone from friendship to criticism. Now they support the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army. They also asked for the creation of intermediate zones and humanitarian corridors in the border area.
Meanwhile, NATO has insisted that it is necessary to find a political solution, but has approved the steps that Turkey is following in order to defend their land and population.
In the other side, Rusia says that the felled Turkish airship on June 22 was flying in Syrian air space. Moscow assures the public that they have evidence that can prove it. Turkey has not taken long to defend themselves and has made a response that denies the information that accuses Turkey of flying in Syria’s air space.
The Syrian Minister of Information has stated that the armed forces shot down the plane by mistake because they thought that it was an Israeli craft. As the Minister explained, most of the Turkish and Israelis aircrafts are made by the United States. This is what confused the Syrian forces, and made them think that it was an Israeli plane.
In the meantime, the Syrian Civil War, which according to United Nations has caused more than 10,000 victims, keeps on going. A prominent Syrian Al Assad opposition, Fawaaz al Tello, has made a call to the United States asking for help. He is demanding weapons for the rebels, for fighting the Al Assad regime. The Free Syrian Army has expressed that they need weapons such as rocket launchers in order to destroy the tanks and army helicopters from the Syrian Army.
The United States does not seem to be convinced to give weapons to the Syrians because most of the rebels are Islamist, so there is a level of suspicion surrounding it. What it seems clear is that all of the steps need to be given careful consideration because the conflict could explode at any moment.