Turkey: NATO Has ‘Duty’ to Defend Border With Syria

Cross-Border Clashes Could Provide NATO an Excuse for War

A camp full of refugees on Turkey’s border with Syria and a Turkish government that has been keen to advance the cause of international military intervention in its neighbor country could be conspiring to provide NATO with a convenient excuse for a war.

Early in the week fighting on the border spilled briefly into Turkey, with gunfire from the Syrian military straying into a refugee camp and injuring four. The Turkish government insisted it was a “deliberate” attack on the camp.

Days later Turkey is still railing on about the “violation” of its border, and insisting that as a member of NATO the alliance is obliged to protect its border from incursions. Prime Minister Erdogan insisted that Turkey has “many options” to take under international law in retaliation for the gunfire.

No one seriously thinks the incident on the border was a genuine Syrian threat to attack Turkey, but NATO members have been itching for an excuse for military intervention, and such an incident could be a ready-made one. With US officials openly talking about imposing a military-created “buffer zone” area in northern Syria, the ceasefire in Syria is unlikely to end calls for international intervention.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.