Saturday, April 14, 2012

Official: Turkey Wants NATO to Attack Syria

WND

Turkey has asked the Syrian opposition to ignore the truce and continue its assault against President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime, a Syrian official charged.

One day after a shaky cease-fire was implemented, there were reports of fighting yesterday between government forces and rebels near the Turkish border village of Kherbet al Jawz.  The Syrian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said opposition forces opened fire on Syrian troops in the incident, sparking a gun battle that lasted several minutes. 
U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan brokered a six-point peace plan, calling for the regime and rebels to halt all attacks and allow for peaceful demonstrations.
Earlier this week, WND 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.
The Syrian official said Assad asked Russia to investigate the Turkish Army deployments.
Syria believes its foe Turkey has been disappointed with the lack of momentum for a NATO air campaign to target Assad’s regime and that Ankara may be trying to agitate for an international military solution to violence in Syria.
Assad has been engaged in a months-long violent crackdown on a well-armed insurgency targeting his regime.
Last week, WND reported Turkey has been surprised by a sudden behind-the-scenes change in attitude from the Obama administration regarding Assad, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.
The sources said that while U.S. rhetoric against Assad remains strong, the Obama administration is suddenly dropping the ball by supporting a NATO campaign against Assad. The sources said the U.S. is suddenly scaling back material support for the Syrian opposition.
The Turkish sources said Turkey and the Syrian opposition are disappointed with the change in attitude, which they claim comes without any diplomatic justification from U.S. officials.
The sources said some Turkish officials believe Obama may have made a deal with Syria or Iran.
Earlier this month, WND quoted informed Middle Eastern officials saying Obama has been engaged in secret, back-channel talks with Iran in which he informed Tehran’s leaders he is completely opposed to any Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The officials told WND the behind-the-scenes talks aim to secure a guarantee from Iran that it will not retaliate against the U.S. in the event of an Israeli military strike, the officials said.
It was unclear what, if anything, Obama offered Iran in exchange for a pledge against targeting U.S. installations, including in the Gulf.