The Turkish-Syrian Border Clash
There are have been two instances where the West could have carefully intervened in the Syrian civil war, at least, doing more than nothing. Yes, the arguments about providing the support to the rebels to overthrow Assad are valid, but in the meantime, many innocents are slaughtered by Assad. It is a crime to allow it. To sit in faraway lands and conduct this crime of omission.
Syria has shot down a Turkish fighter jet that strayed across the border earlier, they have forced thousands across the border into Turkey, they have fired small arms across the border, and now have killed several Turkish civilians with mortar rounds landing in a border town. Yes, apologies have arrived from Assad and for good reason, if Turkey enters the fray, even in a small way, Assad will fall. Yet, President Obama has kept a "hands-off" approach, has restrained Turkish military actions and curtailed NATO, which Turkey is a member of.
According to some intel, Syria's Assad regime will collapse by March 2013, of course, how many of these 'red herring" projections have there been, just to restrain the NATO forces. Turkish officers had taken command of two Syrian rebel brigades, the North Liberators and the Tawhid Brigade, which operate mostly in Aleppo. The Turkish officers orchestrate their operations without crossing into Syria themselves. Turkey has decided to make do with carving out a buffer strip 10 kilometers into Syria by continuous artillery barrages. Artillery batteries were told to aim primarily at Syrian military targets inside this strip, including bases, outposts and Syrian forces on the move.
Turkey, has once again, requested permission to a more full, overt, military action into Syria from President Obama. They have once again, requested permission to create a no-fly zone with other NATO members, once again Obama has flatly refused. It has been 18 months since the Syrian uprising and now civil war started, tens of thousands have been killed, mostly innocents. Iran is spending millions in propping Assad up at the expense of its own internal hardships and has their own soldiers participating in it. Iraq has allowed Iran to fly over its airspace to Syria. Without this, Iran could not provide the help Assad needs.
Why hasn't Obama pressed Iraq, the country we saved and established, to not allow this simple critical move? Iraq owes America. The only recourse the Turkish military has is to create a 50 km corridor of safety from Aleppo to the border using the two rebel brigades Turkish officers control to help civilians flee.
President Obama's policy in the Middle East in general and specifically with the Syrian conflict is appalling. Senator McCain has it right, America should be ashamed for acting as we have. America and NATO can and should be doing much more than nothing regardless of the risks. Pathetic.