Turkey deploys tanks near Syrian border
New footage shows the insurgents taking position inside civilian homes as Syrian security forces try to clear the city. Reporters on the ground say most streets are now cut off by militant checkpoints. The armed groups had also used the same tactic in other cities.
Meanwhile, government forces have gained some ground in their house-to-house searches in Aleppo. On Saturday, troops captured the Sakhour neighborhood after days of heavy fighting.
Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil in Syria.
An interview with Ralph Schoenman, author and political commentator, to further discuss the issue.
Q: This recent news about Syrian insurgents forcing civilians out of their homes and using them as hideouts for themselves, first of all if you can tell us about how much is this trend growing among insurgents in Syria and second, what happens to the civilians, which are forced out of their homes? What is their fate? To where are they then taken?
Schoenman: Well you are looking here at a long-prepared undertaking by the Turkish government in conjunction with NATO and the United States to escalate the war against Syria in which Turkey has been a key player.
I would like to point out that the incident, which has been used as the pretext for this was a space shell from Syria that killed five people on the Turkish border town of Akcakale on Wednesday.
After that Turkish fighter jets carried out strikes including a Syrian military camp.
But the resolution that was moved to initiate a potential war by the Justice and Development Party, the AKB was interestingly enough prepared already on September 20th.
The actual resolution in parliament was dated 20th of September, which shows they used this incident at Akcakale as a pretext to promote pre-existing plans to obtain authorization for the invasion of Syria.
In fact we have to keep in mind that Turkey has not only urged the establishment of military cargos in no-fly zones in Syria, but Turkey is the host of the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Congress, which are the actual operating groups of militia and armed factions that were produced by NATO and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Libya and the United States through the aegis of Turkey.
So we have to look at this in a proper context. The question as to what is taking place in the areas where Turkey has declared so-called security zones where public entry is forbidden of actually for a period between October 7th and January 7th due to “expensive” military operations are a measure of the extent to which this is a well-prepared war operation.
Turkey declared it will not respect Syria’s borders in pursuing its military campaign against the Kurds and it is using that as an occasion and opportunity to further preparations for war. And the actions that have been taken by the Turkish army against its own population and against the Kurdish minority are part and parcel of that undertaking.
This is a major escalation and preparation for a war in which the United States and the NATO countries will be directly involved particularly in so far as the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu personally called United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to associate them with a Turkish military attack.
“The Syrian regime’s aggressive acts at NATO’s eastern border are a flagrant breach of international law and demand the immediate end of aggressive act” - This is the declaration by NATO.
Now, we have to understand what we are in the presence of here: a long prepared operation by not just the Turkish military, but by NATO itself to initiate an all out war against Syria and we cannot separate this from what is being prepared against Iran.