Turkey is just about fed up with Syria and they're not going to take it anymore. Today, they've announced they're going to respond—really respond—if they're attacked again, and they forced down a Syrian plane flying from Moscow to search it for heavy weapons.
Turkey's been positioning their armed forces along the border with Syria as if anticipating a full-scale military strike, and the country warned they were "not far" from war last Friday. That didn't stop the two countries from firing at each other all weekend. Now, with NATO ready and willing to defend them, Turkey seems ready to throw down. "We responded but if it continues we will respond with greater force," Reuters reports Turkey's military chief of staff said on state TV today.
Whether that means they're going to bring the whole calvary across the border remains to be seen, but, certainly, the flames of conflict are being stoked. Turkey forced down a Syrian civilian jet flying from Moscow to Syria because, the AP reports, they thought it was carrying heavy weapons. They are "investigating," according to the foreign minister. (Video of the plane being unloaded is here, though you can't make anything out.) Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell wonders, like many, what will happen if this proves that Russia—a country that has publicly urged the U.N. to prevent arms smuggling into Syria and, as the Financial Times points out, rebuffed accusations of smuggling arms into Syria—is actually smuggling weapons into Syria. Certainly, nothing good.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.