Friday, October 5, 2012

Syria agrees to buffer zone along Turkish border, say reports


Syria has agreed to keep its forces six miles (10km) back from the Turkish border in the wake of this week's deadly shelling incident, Turkish media has reported.
Such a move would amount to a buffer zone – fulfilling a long-standing request by Syrian opposition groups that would allow rebels to operate freely and civilians to seek refuge.
Syria has not confirmed the claim and Ankara has made no official announcement. However, several Turkish media outlets, citing well-placed sources, claimed a deal had been struck.
Opposition groups have implored Turkey and the international community to establish an area in which they can move without fear of jets and helicopters, claiming it would be a significant step in their 19-month battle to oust the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
However the demands have been rejected by Ankara, as well as the US and Nato, who have all repeatedly baulked at suggestions that they directly intervene in the conflict.
A buffer zone would not be effective unless it was enforced militarily, something that Turkey has so far been unwilling to do. However, theSyrian shelling of the Turkish border town of Akcacle has sparked Ankara to re-calibrate its military options to deal with the gathering crisis across its southern border.
The Turkish parliament on Thursday approved a bill allowing its military to launch cross-border raids into Syria at any point in the next 12 months.
Prime Minister Recap Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey was not pushing for an escalation with its once close ally. "We are not interested in war," he said in Istanbul. "But we're not far from it either."

1 comment:

anan said...

Turkey rocks!