Thursday, September 15, 2011

This is the Real (Pragmatic) Turkey, Looking After its Own Interests: Turkey blamed after defector is returned to Syria

Lieutenant Colonel Hussein al-Harmoush was first senior military officer to defect during anti-Assad uprising

Martin Chulov, Thursday 15 September 2011


This is a serious lesson for all the Arabs who are getting giddy about Erdogan, as if he is the second messiah and their savior!

"The first senior military officer to defect during the Syrian uprising has been arrested by regime forces after disappearing from Turkey, and is set to appear on state television, prompting opposition activists to claim he had been betrayed by his hosts as part of a deal.

Lieutenant Colonel Hussein al-Harmoush, who defected in June with senior members of an army unit responsible for a crackdown in the town of Jisr al-Shighour, went missing from a refugee camp in southern Turkey two weeks ago.

He had been received by Turkish officials as one of thousands of refugees who had fled Jisr al-Shighour and a series of security sweeps that followed. He had called several times for other Syrian forces to follow his lead.

The Syrian Arab news agency said Harmoush's "confession" was scheduled to be broadcast on Thursday night.

Wissam Tarif from the human rights organisation Avaaz said he had been told that Turkish officials had traded Harmoush for nine members of the PKK Kurdish militant group, which Turkey has proscribed as a terrorist organisation.

"We have heard from the Kurds that there has been a deal done," he said. "The Turks have been extremely interested in finding ways to clearly define the Kurdish role inside the [Syrian opposition] transitional council."....

...When asked on Thursday in Cairo about the missing officer, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did not respond....."

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