Boston, MA- After nearly a month of cross border conflicts between Turkey and Syria, the world is wondering whether this conflict will resolve itself soon or if it will escalate into a full-fledged war. After interviewing three experts on the matter here’s what they had to say:
Middle East Correspondent Douglass Struck feels very optimistic about the situation between the neighboring countries and does not believe this conflict will go any further:
Ala Onur, from Istanbul does not think the conflict will even reach her city:
Political Communications student Anita Salakis, who is very familiar with the situation of this region hopes Turkey will abstain from entering Syria’s conflict:
Boston, MA- 11 days after the first attack produced on the Syrian-Turkish border international organizations are estimating a war will explode between the neighboring countries. The attack was produced on October 3rd, in the border town of Akçakale killing five civilians and injuring at least eight others.Syrian rebels have been occupying border towns throughout the entire revolution which is why the Syrian army has targeted the Turkish border. Throughout the entire year Turkey has called President Bashar Al-Assad, once a very strong ally to this country, to resign in order to avoid further bloodshed and destruction to the country. After the first attack multiple mortar bomb attacks have been produced in this border.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called an Emergency meeting of the NATO council, to seek permission to take military actions against Syria. He says his response to Syria will be both military and diplomatic. Syria responded by saying that this regime produced attack was mean for the Syrian town Tal al-Abyad, however it fell on the wrong side of the border. Although Turkey has no interest in going to war with Syria, they will not take this border attack lightly and will go to any extent to protect their citizens. Erdogan warned Syria that Turkey will not shy away from war if provoked.
NATO responded to Turkey’s complaints by accusing Syria of Flagrant violations of international law. This attack was not an isolated event since it was followed by multiple cross border attacks from Syria to Turkey, to which the Turkish military responded by trading artillery fire. Tensions between the two countries have escalated dramatically in the past 10 days. After moths of hosting Syrian refugees in their country and bearing witness to the atrocities being committed in their neighboring country, Turkish leaders believe that a war between the countries may not be very far away.
Boston, MA- Originally from Damascus, Emerson College Professor Yasser Munif says he feels very skeptical about the fact that people now refer to the rebellions in his home country as a civil war. Munif believes that the Syrian uprising is part of The Arab Spring and is completely related to the events of its neighboring countries: Egypt,Libya and Tunisia. The reason why the Syrian Uprising has lasted longer is because, even though they hold common grounds with the Arab population, there is a Syrian specificity which is the fact that in his country the Military is part of the regime, and cannot rebel against the government like in Tunisia and Egypt. This is why it has been so difficult to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad and also the reason why The Free Syrian Army was created.
“So far the main common ground Syria holds with its neighboring countries is the right kind of context, yet it lacks a weak ruling class and and organized opposition” says Munif who feels the reason why the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt ans Libya was more successful than in Syria is because the country’s opposition is fragmented: “They don’t have a charismatic leader who is going to save them.” Another factor that has influenced the lack of success is their refusal to accept help from the west. This is also a big difference between Syria and Egypt since Mubarak was a French-Western idealist and Egyptians were looking for an independent Egypt; whereas Assad is Anti-Imperialist and completely against the west “the Syrian population doesn’t like the west but they don’t want Assad either, so that’s why its so tricky.” says Munif.
He hopes the regime topples soon since the longer the uprising lasts, the bloodier it will become and the worse the repercussions. However, he speculates that conflicts will end eventually since the Syrian government lost all its credibility when it rose against its own population:”As bloody as it has been, this is still just a rebellion against an oppressive regime not a Civil War.”