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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Syria, Turkey rhetoric increases

Things are heating up between Turkey and Syria.

Xinhua starts off with:

Syria’s former ally, Turkey, has changed their diplomatic standing and has begun exerting pressure on the government as violence escalates.

For years Turkey has been Syria’s closest neighbour and largest trade partner. But things are changing.

Turkey has suspended energy cooperation with Syria and threatened to halt electricity supply.

The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has sternly asked Syria’s President Bashar Assad, to step down. And Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, met officially Syria’s rebel leaders.

Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish FM, said, "Our attitude is very clear. We will take steps alongside the Arab League if Syria does not respond to the proposal."

Syria’s opposition army is in South of Turkey and the Syrian government has increased its troops on the border. Ankara accuses Syria of providing training bases for the the Kurdistan workers Party. Turkish Prime Minister has warned that if the PKK attacksTurkey, they will cross the border to fight.

Al Arabiya:
Foreign ministers from the Arab League and Turkey will meet in Cairo Sunday to discuss how to react to Syria’s failure to respond to an ultimatum for an observer mission, Turkey said Friday.

Anatolia news agency Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu quoted him as saying at Ankara airport that he would be attending, adding that Turkey already had some measures in hand against Damascus.

“We are going to harmonize them with those prepared by the Arab League,” he added.

A deadline set by the Arab League for Syria to sign a deal allowing monitors into the country expired on Friday without any Syrian response.

And, according to Iran's PressTV, Syria is responding this way:
Turkish sources say that Syria has turned its Russian-made SCUD missiles towards Turkey, Press TV reports.

The sources said that the missiles have been deployed in Syria's Kamisili and Ayn Diwar regions, Press TV's Ankara correspondent reported on Saturday.

The two regions are close to the borders of Turkey and Iraq.

This comes as Turkey has recently stepped up its rhetoric against the Syrian government. Reports have also emerged suggesting that Turkey is harboring Syrian armed opposition groups.
Iran is throwing in its own two cents against Turkey:
Iran will target NATO's missile defense installations in Turkey if the U.S. or Israel attacks the Islamic Republic, a senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said Saturday.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guards' aerospace division, said the warning is part of a new defense strategy to counter what he described as an increase in threats from the U.S. and Israel.

And Libya is joining the party:
Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya's new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested "assistance" from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.

"There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria," said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see."

The Telegraph has also learned that preliminary discussions about arms supplies took place when members of the Turkish-based Syrian National Council [SNC] — the country's main opposition movement — visited Libya earlier this month.

"The Libyans are offering money, training and weapons to the Syrian National Council," added Wisam Tariff, a human rights campaigner with links to the SNC. The disclosure came as rebels raided an air force base outside the city of Homs and killed six pilots, according to a statement by the country's military.

"The [Libyan] council's offer is serious," said Tariff.

It's getting to be a bumpy ride to the Arab Spring Festival.

(h/t Yoel)