BEIRUT — Syria’s isolation deepened Monday as it was hit by a rash of high-ranking military defectors who sought refuge in Turkey, new EU sanctions, and plans for an emergency NATO meeting over its shooting down of a Turkish warplane.
Related: Turkish Fighter Aircraft: Making some sense
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc of Turkey said his government would push NATO to consider the downing of its jet as an attack on the whole military alliance. He said Turkey retained its right to retaliate against what he called a “hostile act.”
What the hell was your jet doing in Syrian airspace?
Could you pass that salt shaker, please?
Arinc did not specify where that incident happened or whether the second plane was hit, but that Turkish officials had contacted the Syrians afterward and that “this assault was immediately halted.”
Turkish officials Monday reported another group defection by high-ranking Syrian military officers, including a brigadier general and a colonel.
The officers and several lower-ranking soldiers, along with their families, crossed into Turkey late Sunday. They were taken to a camp just a few miles inside Turkey in the province of Hatay, which borders Syria, joining some 2,000 defectors and family members.
Were they kidnapped like the pilot's family?
Thousands of soldiers have defected from the Syrian military since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011. Last week, Jordan said it had granted asylum to a Syrian Air Force colonel who defected piloting an MiG warplane. Overall, some 33,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey after the Syrian uprising began.
There was no immediate comment from Syria to the accusation that it had fired upon a second Turkish plane. But earlier Monday, seeking to publicly justify the downing the first jet and to profess no ill will toward Turkey, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman told reporters in Damascus that the warplane had violated Syria’s territory.
So it was a warplane and not an unarmed spy plane or whatever else was claimed by the tool, huh?
“We had to react immediately,” said the spokesman, Jihad Makdissi. “Even if the plane was Syrian we would have shot it down.”
Turkey has said the warplane was over international waters when it was shot down after straying briefly into Syrian airspace.
Yeah, no big deal; Israel does it all the time in Lebanon, yet you rarely read about it.
And that's another thing: imagine the reaction from the Zionist media and their slavish western government servants if a Syrian jet had strayed into Israel.
Makdissi’s comments came a day before emergency talks at NATO headquarters in Brussels over the episode....
"War At Any Cost: Another Manufactured Pretext for War with Syria
by Eric Draitser
June 26, 2012
The downing of a Turkish jet by the Syrian military last week was not merely a military incident making the possibility of an intervention and regional war much more likely. This episode was the most recent in a long and storied history of “international incidents” or provocations used by imperial powers as pretexts for military aggression. Without such incidents, the forces of imperialism are seen as nothing more than aggressors, out to destroy weaker nations in their own interests. However, with the necessary justifications that such episodes provide, those same powers can portray their wars as justified, necessary, and wholly righteous.
This event last week was only the latest in a series of provocations specifically designed to justify a military intervention. However, as the façade of the Houla “massacre”, the use of children as human shields, and the countless other lies propagated by the Western media have been debunked or otherwise exposed, the Western imperialist ruling class looks for a new incident to legitimize their plan for total war on Syria.
Just the Facts
On June 21, a Turkish jet was shot down by Syrian military forces. Initially, the Western media rushed to portray this incident as a blatantly aggressive action by Assad and his military, hoping to play off their many months of propagandizing the public into believing Assad to be the devil incarnate. Vigorous condemnations were heard from all corners of the Western ruling establishment, as the world seemed to move closer to another so-called intervention. However, as the episode unfolded, the media had to backtrack and, as usual, reversed their initial story without a fraction of the fanfare that the initial lie had. They had to admit publicly that, in fact, the Turkish jet had violated Syrian airspace and so, according to international law, Syria was well within their rights to shoot it down. This fact gets lost in the narrative however, as the world looks to NATO, the military arm of US power projection around the world, to “act decisively”. This episode is merely the latest attempt by the imperialist establishment to drum up support for some form of military intervention by portraying the Assad regime as bloodthirsty monsters. Last month, we saw the world recoil in horror at the brutality of what came to be known as the Houla “massacre”. However, as the United States, France, and the other Western powers attempted to spin the event as a brutal example of why they must wage war on Syria, the truth came out that, in fact, the victims of the massacre were not killed by government shelling, but by close range execution attributable to the NATO-sponsored death squads unleashed on the people of Syria.
Like the Houla massacre, the outrageous claim that the Syrian military was using children as human shields was designed to play on the emotions of the international community in hopes of eliciting a swift response and creating the a climate conducive to war. Naturally, no evidence exists to back up this claim other than a dubious UN report based on so-called “activists” and “eyewitnesses”. The Western propagandists are less interested in being able to support these claims than simply making them and implanting them into the public consciousness....
"Sledgehammer: Turkey’s false flag attack kicks off NATO’s Syrian invasion
June 25, 2012
A decade ago the Islamist government of Turkey uncovered the now legendary ‘sledgehammer’ – or Balyoz in Turkish – false flag plot hatched by the Turkish High Command to justify a coup d’état.
The plan called for a Turkish fighter plane to be shot down by friendly fire somewhere over the Aegean and the blame then shifted to the Greeks. It was a blatant attempt by the secular military establishment and their friends in the underground secret state to destabilize the freshly-installed ‘soft’ Islamic AK government before it had time to establish strong roots.
The same plan called for mosques to be bombed during Friday prayers. Military guard posts would be attacked by ’sharia dressed persons.’ As I explain in my new book about NATO Gladio secret armies (see below), elements of Sledgehammer bore a startling resemblance to the US supreme commander General Lyman Lemnitzer’s infamous Northwoods Plot to attack American navy ships and civil airliners and then blame Castro.
There is never anything that is entirely fresh or original in the false flag playbook. So, the downing of a Turkish fighter operating in international air space – we understand by a Syrian missile – served as the excuse for Turkey to summon an immediate conclave of NATO chiefs.
As the Turkish daily Zaman observed in a somewhat under-stated editorial, the attack stoked tensions in the 16-month Syrian crisis to a new level ‘raising the possibility of further measures to internationalize the situation.’
Related: The Boston Globe's Invisible Ink: CIA Arming Syrian Rebels
Yup, still no word in their pages about that.
"Military Sources: British Commandos Operating In Syria, Assad Compound Under Siege; Reports suggest Western military intervention in full swing
June 26, 2012
French, British and Turkish military sources have suggested that elite British soldiers have entered Northern Syria and are operating ten kilometers inside the country in what is thought to be the first offensive western intervention against the Assad regime.
“Our military sources estimate that the British military drive into Syria, if confirmed, is designed to establish the first safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, to be followed by more Western military incursions to establish additional zones of safe asylum in other parts of Syria.” reports the Israeli intelligence website Debkafile.
The site notes that sources have indicated that any such further coordinated action is to be determined based upon “Syrian, Russian and Iranian (+ Hizballah) responses to the initial stage of the operation.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday morning that Western military intervention in Syria would not be tolerated by Moscow, and that Russia would act decisively to prevent it.
Debkafile also notes that the perceived double offensive against Assad began just hours before the NATO “consultation” in Brussels on the shooting down of a Turkish warplane by Syria last Friday.
“The two-pronged operation – the reported British incursion and major clash at the front door of Assad’s presidential palace – would appear to be designed to widen the cracks in his regime and speed its final breakup.” the report states.
The website’s sources have proven accurate in the past....
It also emerged this month that Emissaries from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have held meetings with high level U.S. government officials in Washington. The CIA, MI6 and Mossad supported rebels consulted with Obama’s National Security Council and presented a shopping list of heavy weapons, including surface-to-air missiles.
Debkafile also reported that Barack Obama has told the US Navy and Air Force to prepare air strikes on Syria as part of a “no fly zone” that will be enforced with the aid of British and French military power....