Oct 12 2012
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, October 12, 2012
If a war breaks out between Turkey and Iran, the regime in Damascus will be the main beneficiary. Such a war will put an end to the 18-month long rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.
This is not my own analysis. Numerous observers watching closely the escalation between Ankara and Damascus in the past few days share this opinion.
The regime in Syria and its ideology is based on continuing mass mobilization to confront a foreign enemy, which in the minds of Syrian citizens has always been Israel.
But following the withdrawal of military units from the Golan front with Israel and getting them involved in suppressing the rebellion, the regime in Damascus had to look for another external enemy to distract attention from the ongoing aerial and artillery bombardment of Syrian cities and villages.
Since the shelling by Syria of a Turkish town, which killed five civilians, tension between the countries has been sharply escalating. Turkey three days ago even forced a Syrian plane to land in Ankara on suspicion of carrying military cargo.
Where will this unprecedented escalation lead? Have the two reached the point of no return at which they see war as the closest option to achieve their own agendas?
Turkey hopes, and probably believes, the escalation will draw NATO, of which it’s a member, into the conflict. But Ankara should not forget that many European countries including the U.S. are not so enthusiastic to pursue the Turkish path.
A war with Turkey, for Syria, will certainly be used to revive patriotic feelings, which the regime has smashed under the thunder of its warplanes and bombings by its tanks and artillery of its own citizens.
The war looks unlikely but it is not to be ruled out. The issue is nobody can predict what course such a war will take once it breaks out.
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