Tensions Rise as Turkey Holds Tank Exercises Along Syrian Border

Syria FM: Turkey Backing Jihadists in Attacks

by Jason Ditz, August 02, 2012

The ongoing Turkish threat to invade Syria, and particularly to attack Syrian Kurdistan, is once again fueling considerable tension between the two nations, as the Turkish Army is staging major tank exercises just north of the border, punctuating those threats.

Turkish officials have repeatedly claimed the right to “hot pursuit” of Kurdish militants into Syria in recent weeks, which would bring them even more directly into the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement slamming Turkish interference in the region, and has accused them of opening up the border to jihadists and supporting them in attacks against the Assad regime.

Turkey’s potential invasion threatens to turn Syria’s civil war into a region-wide conflict, with Iran issuing warnings that they would be obliged to defend Syria under their mutual defense treaty. Though for Turkey the whole of the Syrian issue is almost entirely about the Kurdish region it seems clear it won’t end there.

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