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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 06/25/2012
TURKEY - SYRIA
Tension mounts between Ankara and Damascus. NATO and EU to debate shooting down of jet
The Turkish foreign minister says the attack occurred over international waters. Strong criticism from the U.S. and Britain. Syria lowers tones: "There is no enmity between Syria and Turkey." NATO’s difficult position.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The Turkish military jet shot down by Syria June 22 last, risks becoming a "casus belli". After some reassuring statements in recent days, yesterday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey will discuss the incident and the possible answers with NATO. The issue will also be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled for today in Luxembourg.

In the days leading up to this the declarations of both Damascus and Ankara were measured: the Turks have even admitted that the fighter jet had violated Syrian airspace and naval forces of both states had been searching the waters for the two pilots off Latakia ( v.: 23/06/2012 Ankara acknowledges one of its planes may have strayed into Syrian airspace). Yesterday Davutoglu, while admitting that the F-4 Phantom may have entered Syrian airspace, said it "was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria." He also warned that "no one should dare to challenge the military might of Turkey."

The United States and Great Britain have both condemned the act. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that his country "condemns this blatant and unacceptable act" that shows "the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security". UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Syrian military's actions were "outrageous" and underlined "how far beyond accepted behaviour the Syrian regime has put itself".

There are still very subdued tones on the Syrian side. Makdissi Jihad, spokesman for the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that " "There is no enmity between Syria and Turkey, but political tension [exists] between the two countries. What happened was an accident and not an assault as some like to say, because the plane was shot while it was in Syrian airspace and flew over Syrian territorial waters." 

Relations between Syria and Turkey, which share at least 900 km of borders, became strained after the revolts against Assad. Turkey supports the rebels and allows the flow of money and weapons to the insurgents, who Damascus defines "terrorists", through it's boarders.

At the same time, Ankara fears that Kurdish minority in Syria can give a hand to the Kurds in Turkey, who are fighting for autonomy.

Several analysts are wondering what Turkey will demand of NATO. In all likelihood there will be statements of solidarity with Ankara, but military actions or other punitive actions are unlikely. Various NATO member countries on an individual level support the revolt against Assad, but the organization has continually said that it had no intention of being involved in military operations - like those in Libya - that could destabilize the situation of the entire region.

 


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See also
06/26/2012 TURKEY - SYRIA
Ankara warns UN the jet shot down a "security threat" from Syria
10/04/2012 TURKEY - SYRIA
Turkish reprisals on Syrian border. Push for NATO intervention
by Nat da Polis
06/27/2012 SYRIA
Damascus, attack on a pro-government television station, three dead
06/15/2011 SYRIA – TURKEY
Giant pro-Assad rally in Damascus, bishop says 80 per cent of the people behind him
05/14/2011 SYRIA
More deaths yesterday in Syria despite Bashar al-Assad’s promises

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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