If you ask me my gut feeling, I will tell you that it isn’t very likely that Syria and Turkey will go to war over their border tensions and the mystery of the Turkish fighter jet that blew up near Syrian territory–even though witnesses claims the Syrians blew it out of the sky. However, even if Turkey disregards its downed fighter jet and ignores Syrian aggression, the Turkey border continues to be a huge problem for the Syrian state.
As I write these words on Tuesday, 26 June, Turkey officials are meeting with their NATO allies, which include the United States, over how to respond to Syria regarding Turkey’s fighter jet getting shot down. Let’s be honest, wars have ignited over far less controversial situations.
But it goes farther than that. The Turkish border has been a real problem for the Syrian government of President al-Assad because it has become a refugee point for those fleeing from the Syrian security forces, as well as a gathering point for resources to support the rebels as well as money and for those who have defected from the Syrian army.
What would war between Turkey and Syria imply for the rest of us in the West? Well, technically because of the North Atlantic Treaty, foundation for NATO, if Turkey is attacked by Syria and war ignites, the whole of NATO can be invoked to defend the Turks. This would be in accordance with Article V of NATO:
“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”
Like I said, as I write NATO is chatting things up. Let’s hope things turn out for the best; however, I can’t help but think that were war to ignite, this may be the only thorough way to stop the bloodshed and excessive violence taking place in the whole of Syria.