Israeli security forces: Turkey preparing military intervention in Syria

Anonymous Israeli security officials told Haaretz newspaper Nov. 23 that they believe Turkey is preparing a military intervention in Syria, seeking to create a secure buffer zone on the border for armed opposition forces. Ankara has already given shelter to some 20,000 refugees fleeing repression by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s security forces, and also hosts Syrian opposition groups. Unnamed Israeli officials said that Ankara is expected to set up bases that would be protected by the Turkish army from which Syrian opposition forces can operate. (Haaretz, Nov. 23)

The UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee on Nov. 22 approved a draft resolution condemning recent human rights violations in Syria. The non-binding resolution, drafted by the UK, France and Germany, passed by a vote of 122-13, with 41 abstentions. The resolution “Strongly condemns the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities, such as arbitrary executions, excessive use of force and the persecution and killing of protesters and human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill treatment of detainees, including children.” It also “Calls upon the Syrian authorities to immediately put an end to all human rights violations, to protect their population and to fully comply with their obligations under international human rights law, and calls for an immediate end to all violence in the Syrian Arab Republic.” The nations that sponsored the resolution hope it will be a first step in bringing the matter back before the UN Security Council. (Jurist, Nov. 23)

See our last posts on Syria and the Arab revolutions.

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  1. Bibi fears Arab Spring: more evidence
    There has already been plenty of evidence that (contrary to the warped perceptions of the conspiranoids) Israel is actually terrified of the Arab revolutionary awakening that has now been underway for nearly a year. Now Netanyahu helpfully provides yet more and completely unequivocal evidence. From Haaretz, Nov. 24:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday blasted Israeli and world politicians who support the Arab Spring revolutions and accused the Arab world of “moving not forward, but backward.”

    The prime minister arrived at the Knesset session following the second meeting of the security-diplomatic cabinet, during which ministers were given the annual reviews of Military Intelligence, Mossad, the Foreign Ministry, and the Shin Bet…

    “In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we’re facing a new era of liberalism and progress…They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don’t see where things are heading,” he said.

    But time has proved him right, Netanyahu said. His forecast that the Arab Spring would turn into an “Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli and anti-democratic wave” turned out to be true, he said.

    Netanyahu also slammed Western leaders, and especially U.S. President Barak Obama, who had pushed Mubarak to resign from power. At the time this was happening Netanyahu said in closed talks that the American administration and many European leaders don’t understand reality. On Wednesday, he called them “naive.”

    “I ask today, who here didn’t understand reality? Who here didn’t understand history?” he called from the Knesset podium. “Israel is facing a period of instability and uncertainty in the region. This is certainly not the time to listen to those who say follow your heart.”
    Netanyahu used the upheaval in the Arab world to justify his government’s inaction vis-a-vis the peace process with the Palestinians.

    “I remember many of you urged me to take the opportunity to make hasty concessions, to rush to an agreement,” he said.

    “But I will not establish Israel’s policy on illusions. There’s a huge upheaval here…whoever doesn’t see it is burying his head in the sand,” he said.

    “That didn’t stop people from coming to me and suggesting we make all kinds of concessions. I said we insist on foundations of stability and security…all the more so now,” he said.