Fears that the Syrian civil war is spilling into the neighbouring countries is forcing many neighbouring countries to take a tougher stand on the conflict. Many surrounding Arab countries, which have been seeing a heavy influx of refugees and a spill-over effect of the violence in the form of cross border fires, are deciding to take a tougher joint action and are even considering military intervention.
The 21-month long uprising in Syria has only escalated and Turkey, the neighbouring country, has been pushed to the point of frustration. Turkey accused Syria of state terrorism, looking at the current death toll. Only three days ago on December 3, 2012, Syrian warplanes bombed a security building where rebels had been taking refuge along Turkish borders that left at least 11 people wounded. A Turkish official said that many civilians also fled the scene into Turkey. Turkey is now one of the strongest critics of the Assad Regime, especially considering the fact that Turkey hosts about 145,000 refugees who have fled Syria in an attempt to escape death and violence.
Even though direct military intervention seems unlikely, covert means are being adopted to end the conflict. Among all the countries taking action, Turkey is a country that is directly suffering the most as result of Assad’s decision to offer base and backing to PKK fighters in and around south-east Turkey. Reportedly, PKK-related violence has now reached a new 10-year high and shows signs of spreading. Perhaps, the open condemnation of Assad’s regime by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his demand to remove Assad has escalated matters. Every day brings new attacks on Turkey, with Turkish soldiers and civilians losing lives in the battle.
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The continuing bloodshed and fights have prompted Turkey to consider a stronger stance. Turkey’s Prime Minister sharply criticised the Security Council in its failure to end the civil war in Syria. Turkey had also asked U.N. Security Council for a safe zone within Syria to house all the refugees seeking asylum, which had been ignored by United States, Britain and other NATO countries. Turkish foreign minister even said that all differences must be set aside by major powers to resolve the issue in Syria. The minister said that the war has been going on for too long in the country and the prevention of a disaster should take priority.
In the meantime, clearly desperate and concerned about the escalating conflict within its borders, Turkey has taken up retaliatory artillery strikes against Syria to safeguard its territory and protect border security. While Turkey made it clear that they were a peaceful country and had no interest in starting a war, they had to retaliate against Syria to protect its citizens.