Secret war with Turkey

The Turkish Army last week began week-long manoeuvres on the Syrian border, as it did in 1998 when the two countries almost went to war with one another.

Allies since 2002, relations between Damascus and Ankara have become distinctly chilly since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime began allowing the opposition Syrian National Council to operate out of Istanbul (IOL 643649). In reprisal, the Syrian intelligence services are threatening to resume deliveries of arms to PKK Kurdish separatists. On October 3 in the majority-Kurdish town of Diyarbakir, the Syrian police found an arms cache containing 26 AK47s and 1,500 rounds of ammunition. Damascus, meanwhile, is accusing Turkey of equipping the Free Syrian Army and the Syria Free Officers Movement, both of which consist mostly of formers soldiers. The movements operate in and out of refugee camps on the Turkish side of Syria’s border.