Apr 23, 2012

Claim: Turkey Mobilizing Reserves for Faceoff with Syria. Damascus Accuses Foe of Agitating Conflict, Provoking Opposition.

Aaron KleinBy Aaron Klein
Klein Online

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The Turkish military began calling up reserves to face the possibility of a confrontation with Syria, a top Syrian official claimed to KleinOnline.

The claim could not be immediately independently verified by U.S., French or Egyptian sources.

The purported move comes as 300 unarmed United Nations observers began arriving in Syria as part of a cease fire agreement. A UN resolution calls for unspecific ”swift and meaningful consequences” if Syria continues to flout the truce.

Over the weekend, Iranian official Ali Larijani said that countries which seek to stoke the crisis in Syria will be “engulfed by its fire.” With obvious reference to Turkey and the international community, Larijani warned unnamed countries against waging war on Syria, saying a confrontation is like playing with “gunpowder.”

U.N. observers in Syria

Eight monitors are already in Syria and a further two are expected to arrive today as part of the advance team agreed to in UN envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point strategy that calls for an end to the violence and a flow of humanitarian assistance.

US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, acknowledged the challenges for the observers.

”They are going to be dependent for security on the very government which is responsible for the main security threats,” she said. ”They are going to be deployed in the midst of protesters who are desperate for a protection that the monitors are not equipped or mandated to provide. And they will be deployed in numbers too small to cover the entire country but large enough to give rise to expectations that will be impossible to meet, if the Syrian government does not fulfill its commitments.”

Official: Turkey Wants NATO to Attack Syria

Last week, a Syrian official claimed to KleinOnline that Turkey had asked the Syrian opposition to ignore the truce and continue its assault against President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime.

Also last week, KleinOnline reported the Syrian military is on its second-highest alert level, believing Turkey may be attempting to stage a provocation in the hope of drawing Damascus into a conflict, according to a top Syrian official.

The official said Syria noted unusual Turkish troop movements in recent days along the Syria-Turkey border. Turkey claimed the movement was to guard refugees coming into the country from war-torn areas of Syria. The Syrian official, however, said Damascus believes Turkey may be trying to “surprise” Syria with some sort of provocation.

Related Links
'Turks clashing with NATO allies over Israel' • Jerusalem Post
UN says Syria not fully implementing peace plan • FOX News
Turkey Punishes Israel, Blocks It from NATO Summit • Arutz Sheva
Hungry Syrian soldiers desert Golan defenses, prowl for food • DEBKAfile
Assad's actions in Syria spur US to consider intervening • Christian Science Monitor