Monday, February 15, 2016

Tension in the Middle East: Turkey Attacks Syrian Army Posts, Saudi Arabia Threatens Ground Entrance - Dan Arkin

by Dan Arkin

Despite the "ceasefire" recently signed between Russia and the United States, the fighting in Syria does not cease. Turkey shelled Syrian military positions it claims attacked Turkish military targets in collaboration with Kurdish forces. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia announces plans to deploy ground troops

Tensions between the Middle East countries on the issue of civil war in Syria reached a new high: According to foreign media reports, Turkey attacked Syrian military targets, because they claim that Kurdish forces and troops loyal to President Assad fired at Turkish army posts.

This event comes after a "ceasefire" was signed over the weekend between Russia, the US and other powers. According to the agreement, the fighting in Syria will cease by next week and shipments of humanitarian supplies will be sent to civilians in areas under siege. The agreement itself does not include terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Al-Nusra Front and others - against which fighting will continue.

However, many doubt the ability to enforce the agreement. Saudi Arabia plans to send ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria, and announced that in the coming days it will engage in a multi-dimensional and multi-national military exercise.

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter commented on the news of Saudi Arabia's intention send military forces to Syria and said that the US is waiting for more details. He made it clear, however, that as more countries join the fighting, it will be easier for the US to increase the pressure on ISIS. Lawrence Korb, a former deputy defense minister, said that the participation of Saudi military forces in the fighting in Syria is of great significance and constitutes a serious escalation.

Dan Arkin


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