The Next Middle Eastern War? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 11 2012 @ 3:42pm


Michael Koplow pushes back against Bob Wright's concerns, detailing several reasons why a war between Syria and Turkey is highly unlikely. For instance, Turkey probably can't back up its threats:

Turkey’s military options in Syria are actually quite limited. Ankara does not have the intelligence capability to carry out extensive target selection, its air force faces a challenge in the face of Syrian air defenses, and its months-long bluster has not been backed by equivalent action, destroying its ability to use credible threats to deter Syrian provocation. In short, Turkey has been exposed as a paper tiger when it comes to Syria. …

[E]ven if Turkey did have the capability to step in and put an end to the sectarian fighting in Syria, Wright assumes that this would put a damper on Kurdish nationalism, but in fact it might very well have precisely the opposite effect. Once the Assad regime falls, the PYD and other Syrian Kurdish groups are likely to try and carve out their own autonomous sphere within Syria, and Turkish intervention on the side of the rebels could accelerate this process.

Koplow also sees the chances of NATO participation as slim to none, calling the idea that member nations might be shamed into intervening a "Turkish pipe dream".

(Photo: Syrians move wounded civilians to a pick-up to evacuate them to Turkey, after a government attack, on October 10, 2012, in the Sha-ar neighbourhood of the northern city of Aleppo. Syrian rebels completely cut off the highway linking Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, on October 11, choking the flow of regime troops to battlefields in the north, an AFP reporter said. By Zac Baillie/AFP/Getty Images)