Turkey is funnelling weapons and armed men across the border into Syria
How the government howled. With the help of a neighbouring state, “terrorists” were trying to destroy the government and its army, blowing up and murdering its supporters. “Terrorists” were crossing the international border, arms were being shipped over the frontier and given to armed groups fighting the government, “non-lethal” aid was being sent to the opposition. I couldn’t help remembering this when I crossed that same border four days ago. Not from Turkey into Syria, but from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland.
There, to the left of the Newry road on a plateau of rock and green grass, lay the broken wire-mesh anti-mortar screen which once guarded the fortress where British troops – so often attacked by the IRA from Dundalk in the Republic – guarded the border. When the British-supported government of Northern Ireland turned on its Catholics in 1969, thousands of Catholic refugees flooded across the border into the Republic. Sound familiar? When British paratroopers were ambushed at Warrenpoint, soldiers fired back across the border at a “terrorist”. He wasn’t a terrorist, but an innocent holidaymaker. The IRA gave press conferences in pleasant Dublin suburbs and, oh my, the British government howled.
Odd how these things get forgotten. Now it is plucky little Turkey, hosting the opposition to the Syrian regime, funnelling weapons and armed men across the border into Syria – encouraging the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad – which is the victim.
Typically, Al-Jazeera – to which I sometimes contribute my two-pence worth of thought – was the first channel to cover the response of local Turks to the killing of the family in Akçakale: they blamed their own Turkish government for using the village as a jumping off point for rebels entering Syria – and thus turning their town into a target.
And another story that isn’t being told. Syrian shells exploding in Turkey are largely landing in the province of Hatay (Akçakale is further east), but what is not being reported is that until 1939, Hatay was part of Syria – and that Syria still claims this coastal province as Syrian territory.
The real story – since it involves Europe and Hitler – should be told. For hundreds of years, this territory was Syrian. Alexandretta (now Iskenderun) was the finest port in Syria. But as the power of Nazi Germany grew in the 1930s, the French, who then held the League of Nations mandate for Syria, decided to hand the whole place over to the Turks – in the hope that Turkey would join the Allied side against Hitler.
Source: Syrian TV
Categories: Arab World, Syria, Turkey
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