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The crisis in the relations between Syria and Turkey is deteriorating

October 15, 2012, 13:54 UTC+3

Damascus decided that the Syrian air space is closed for Turkish civil airplanes from midnight on October 14

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The crisis in the relations between Syria and Turkey, which is fraught with a military confrontation between the countries, is deteriorating. On Sunday, Syria closed its air space for Turkish civil airplanes. Ankara has taken the same retaliatory step and continued to beef up its combat group of military forces on the land border with Syria and its naval force in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The incident with the airplane has worsened the relations between Moscow and Ankara.

Damascus decided that the Syrian air space is closed for Turkish civil airplanes from midnight on October 14, the Kommersant daily noted. The Syrian Foreign Ministry explained that this is “a forced measure” over the actions of the Turkish authorities, and voiced regret that Ankara’s actions “are targeted at further escalation of tensions in bilateral relations.” Damascus mentioned in this statement the recent incident with the Syrian Airlines passenger airliner A320 that was en route from Moscow to Damascus. On October 10, Turkish fighters forced the airplane to make a landing in Ankara, accusing its crew of “the illegal transportation of military cargoes.” After many hours of search the Turkish security services confiscated some part of cargo and the airplane could continue its flight. The incident raised protests in Syria and Russia.

Many experts believe that the exchange of hostile acts will inevitably lead Turkey and Syria to an armed conflict, the newspaper noted. To say the least, military preparations, which Ankara launched, are quite serious.

Russian Ambassador in Turkey Vladimir Ivanovsky was summoned in the Turkish Foreign Ministry over the incident with the detention of the airplane en route from Moscow to Damascus, but diplomatic sources did not reveal the tone of the talks, the Izvestia daily noted. The experts, who were polled by the newspaper, believe that this incident will not spoil the relations between Russia and Turkey that is not beneficial for any country.

“The diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey have deteriorated over foreign political ambitions of Turkey,” Vice-President of the Centre of Political Studies in Russia (PIR-centre) Dmitry Polikanov believes. “Turkey will not decide to worsen seriously the relations with Russia,” Polikanov said. “The full-fledged cooperation and perfect relations have been established between our countries in the last few years,” he noted.

Although this is not confirmed officially, but apparently the Moscow-Damascus intercepted airplane was carrying the microchips, which can be used in the air defence systems, the newspaper claimed. However these component parts cannot be taken as weapons or purely technical components, the newspaper reported with confidence. So, a statement by Syrian Arab Airlines General Manager Gaida Abdul Latif that the airplane was carrying the civilian electric equipment is actually true. Although essentially these component parts can be used in such most advanced air defence systems, as Buk-M2, which the Russian producers delivered to Syria before, as well as in the mobile missile and artillery system Pantsir, the Izvestia daily reported.

“The incident with the airplane has brought the confrontation between Turkey and Syria to its extreme. Just one step is left before a possible war,” deputy head of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Alexander Khramchikhin told the Novye Izvestia daily. As for Ankara, the hawks took the upper hand there. Anyway, Erdogan’s speech at the Istanbul International Political Forum that ended on Saturday left this impression. Along with Russia and Damascus the Turkish prime minister also criticized the UN, which the latter blamed for the lack of action. Erdogan noted that the world powers repeat now the mistakes, which were made in Bosnia in the nineties of the previous century. But if then they were explained by the allegations that the world is not ready to face new challenges after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is no explanation to new mistakes. Erdogan called again to change the structure of the UN Security Council. Turkey does not like that the veto handed down by Russia and China can curb “any, even most needed and urgent actions of the international community.” The Turkish premier stated that Turkey did not declare a war to Syria, but the country should be ready for the war.





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