POLITICS > Turkey still eyeing US raid despite UK blow


Turkey banks on Washington’s support for an invasion, despite a ‘no-war’ vote by the UK Parliament

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Rebels watch the launch of a rocket toward troops in Deir ez-Zor. REUTERS photo

Rebels watch the launch of a rocket toward troops in Deir ez-Zor. REUTERS photo

Turkey has been chastened by the U.K.'s decision not to participate in military action against Syria over alleged chemical weapons use, but is still hoping to proceed with an intervention together with U.S. support.

“The Americans, like us, are sure that a response should be given to the use of chemical weapons. We are of the opinion that the U.S. will go into action following internal deliberations,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Hürriyet Daily News on Aug. 30.

The British Parliament refused to authorize the government to become involved in military action against Syria on Aug. 29, while France and Germany have also signaled they would not take part in such military intervention in Syria.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, speaking to reporters on Aug. 30, played down the potential impact of the U.K. vote on an international intervention into Syria.

“These kinds of discussions and the emergence of different voices are natural in democratic countries,” Davutoğlu said.

Days after declaring that Turkey would take part in any international coalition that would move against the Syrian regime, Davutoğlu warned the international community over the heavy cost of absence of any penalty against the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.

The absence of such a penalty will set a precedent for certain groups or countries possessing chemical weapons as they will feel encouraged to use these weapons since they will have the conviction that their actions will go unpunished, Davutoğlu said.

Just before Davutoğlu gathered with correspondents in front of the Foreign Ministry headquarters, the semi-official Anadolu Agency posted reports suggesting that it has been proven that the perpetrator of the chemical attack in Syria was the regime. Anadolu provided details concerning the attack and how the Syrian regime forces were involved, but only cited anonymous sources. However, the agency said the same reports that were used as the source of their report had also been conveyed to the Turkish government.

“It is the regime’s responsibility without a doubt,” Davutoğlu said, when asked about the agency report, noting that all technical details concerning the attack proved that it was done by government forces.

“The Syrian regime is responsible for the chemical attack in eastern Ghouta. Current information suggests that the opposition has no such sophisticated weapons,” he said. “Health information which we obtained through our national intelligence sources and our assessments through other sources openly shows from two aspects that the responsible party is the regime,” he said, citing those aspects as the delivery mechanism and the delivery scenes of the weapons.

The minister’s remarks indicated that the report that was the source for the agency was the National Intelligence Service (MİT).


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Chris Green

9/2/2013 10:41:44 AM

Eggroll: You appear to be another with limited knowledge of the UK parliament and how it works.Parliamentary process worked perfectly well in this instance, irrespective of the outcome of the specific question. What our PM got 100% right was to refer the matter to Parliament: Blair would NOT have done so! He played politics to suit is own private agenda. Milliband too played politics for his own ends in this matter. As for Syria, be assured that Britain is very much involved, not 'scared'!

Brit in Turkey

9/2/2013 10:35:36 AM

Eggroll Pastirma: I posted this elsewhere, but it may explain he British position: "It seems to me to be all too late now for any outside intervention. The result would likely be another Iraq or Afghanistan. The time for outsiders to act was when it first started when the identities of the opponents was clear; there are too many "nasties" involved on the rebel side now for any move against the dictatorship to have a clear outcome."

Eggroll Pastirma

9/2/2013 2:16:03 AM

what a joke the UK parliament have made of themselves.....for once they could have intervened militarily in a cause that deserved it. LABOUR instigated a NO vote, the Labour party which illegally invaded Iraq with lies and destroyed Afganistan! Blair became a wealthy man out of it though! If anyone really thinks the rebels were behind the gas attacks then they are complete tools!!!! The UK just does not want to intervene in syria because they struggled so much in Iraq...Syria scares them

Chris Green

9/1/2013 2:50:16 PM

Mr Phipps clearly has absolutely ZERO knowledge of the UK's military and political clout. He should be reminded that our Elite Forces are the envy of the world without peer. Clearly we have political clout and it is not for nothing that Obama has referred the Syrian Question to Congress. It can be assumed that Mr Phipps is an American: I wonder if he is one of the 95% who do not even possess a passport nor an atlas either! Late for 2 world wars, the US for sure have not missed out since!

Red Tail

9/1/2013 12:54:58 PM

Jim Phillips. When you say that UK is insignificant, then you are looking at the total number of troops I guess. The problem is that in the Syria case such number is not very relevant. If it was just a question of troops, Turkey should take care of the problem on its own. But it is instead a question of RELEVANT resources. What kind of equipment (jet fighters, drones etc), what kind of training do the troops have. Personally I think US should stay out and let the region sort it out.

Brit in Turkey

9/1/2013 10:48:34 AM

Jim Phipps: There is such a thing as quality over quantity.

James Hanvey

9/1/2013 9:43:26 AM

If intervention in Syria is so important to the Turkish government, then Turkey should step up to the plate and be willing to intervene without the help of the United States and France. As an American, I don't like the Turkish government pushing the Americans into action. Oh, but wait. If Turkey intervened unilaterally and the outcome was disastrous, they would have no one else to blame. Now, I understand.


8/31/2013 10:07:57 PM

@Thessalonian: Don't worry about Eric; he's been sipping the NeoOttoman Koolaid. @Nadiri: You mean a group like the Arab League, which opposes action? Like the Shanghai Five, which Opposes action? Or like France? -- Tayyip's favorite nation hahahahaha! @Phipps: RU Serious?? UK had to come to the US's aid because sarin gas was used by Syria on Syrians? NATO pact covers attacks. It doesn't even cover provocations, as Tayyip found out when he lost an F-16. Think first, then write!

Jim Phipps

8/31/2013 5:48:21 PM

Losing the UK and its military is political in that the UK military is very insignificant. The UK military is roughly smaller than a number of Third World Countries. While interesting a bigger question for NATO is this. Do not now expect the USA to any longer come to the UK's aid any longer like it has for two World Wars. The world knows that the UK is militarily and politically insignificant. It is now just another small near Third World European Country.

Blue Dotterel

8/31/2013 4:39:13 PM

Turkey continues to kow tow to the US over Syria despite other NATO countires and even some GCC countries having second thoughts. No evidence has been provided for Syria commiting the attacks. In fact, "interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families,... (they) believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the ...gas attack." Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh
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