Report: Turkey tells West it might launch offensive against Syria
Syrian refugees walk as they enter the Turkish side of the border at the border zone between Syria and Turkey, near the Turkish village of Güveççi, 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Hatay province, on June 23, 2011.
Turkish officials have told Western countries that Turkey might launch a military operation in Syria's north to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad's regime, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Monday.
“Turkey informed Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leadership of the possibility that it would launch an offensive in … Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Latakia,” As-Seyassah daily quoted an unnamed British officials as saying, according to the Lebanese news website nowlebanon.com.
The report comes amid fears of undesired confrontation between the Turkish and Syrian armies along the border. About 12,000 Syrians have fled their homes in northern towns and have taken refuge on the Turkish side of the border. The Syrian army is reportedly reinforcing troops near the Turkish border to prevent further inflows of refugees towards Turkey. The Turkish military is also reportedly considering reinforcing border troops. Senior Turkish commanders have recently traveled to the border province of Hatay to inspect the border area.
“Turkish officials fear the possibility of the Syrian army committing mistakes on its borders, which might oblige the Turkish army to cross the Syrian border,” the Kuwaiti daily quoted a Lebanese diplomat in Ankara as saying. The Syrian government's brutal crackdown on anti-regime protesters has brought once-close Turkish-Syrian relations to a breaking point, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan describing the Syrian response to protests as “savagery.”
Earlier, a columnist for Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, said to be close to Hezbollah, claimed that Iran had threatened Turkey that if it were to be used as a platform for NATO action against Syria, then Iran would bomb US and NATO bases in Turkey. A columnist for the newspaper also said Iran sees the preservation of the Syrian regime as the preservation of the Iranian and Lebanese governments.
- Report: Turkey forfeits territory in lieu of Mosul hostages
- Suspected PKK terrorists fire at gendarmerie, police in Diyarbakır
- Obama: US won't stop confronting 'Islamic State'
- Bulgaria may extend Turkish border fence to bar Syrian, Iraqi refugees
- MHP leader: Official Gazette's delay of election results unlawful
- PKK attacks outpost construction site in Tunceli's Hozatlı district
- Militants attack major air base in eastern Syria
- Outgoing first lady breaks silence on criticism, promises ‘intifada'
- TurkStat : Age of youngest reported bonzai users drops below 11
- Skyscrapers damaging İstanbul skyline to be demolished
- Turkey denies German plane on Iraq aid mission barred from landing
- France seeks international meeting to tackle 'Islamic State'
- Gaza massacre goes on, Israel tries to kill Hamas military chief
- 10 dead, 22 missing in Hiroshima landslide
- Afghan government bans NYT reporter from leaving country
- Police move against protesters as calm dissolves in Ferguson
- Beşiktaş draw 0-0 at home to Arsenal in first leg of CL
- ‘IS' opens new anti-US front with beheading video
- Turkey rejects Israeli claim it helped coup in West Bank
- Turkish lieutenant killed, another soldier injured in PKK attack
- Top Saudi cleric: Islamic State is Islam's enemy
- Turkish President Gül: Davutoğlu to become new prime minister
- Argentina car crash kills 3 relatives of pope
- Turkish sergeant who took part in Lice statue removal dies
- Three killed in traffic accident in central Turkey
- Government says considering talks with PKK's military wing
- Israel attacks Gaza targets, recalls negotiators as truce collapses
- 5 youths taken to ICU after bonzai drug trip in Bursa
- Turkey may send floating power station to Gaza
- At least 34 injured in Kastamonu bus accident
- WHO says Ebola has killed more than 1,200
- 78 CHP provincial heads announce support for Kılıçdaroğlu
- Libyan militia fire rockets into affluent Tripoli residential district
- US ship finishes neutralizing Syria's worst chemical arms
- Blast in China coal mine traps 27 miners
- Wounded Palestinian transferred to Turkey for treatment dies
- Man given one year in prison for tweet about governor's wife
- UN launching major aid operation for half a million in northern Iraq
- Syria strikes militants as US targets them in Iraq
- Islamic State message to America: "we will drown all of you in blood"
- One killed in Lice clashes over removal of statue of PKK member