Syria: Turkey threatens to invoke Nato's self-defence article
Turkey has resurrected the prospect of western military intervention in the Syrian crisis, threatening to invoke NATO'S self-defence mechanisms over violations of its territory by Assad regime troops.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, repeated calls for United Nations action against Syria, and went on to refer to Article 5 of the Nato treaty. That calls an attack on one Nato member like Turkey an attack on all members.
|Now there's an interesting ploy...|
Invoking the treaty would allow Nato members to take military action against Syria legally without a UN security council resolution. Article 5 has only been invoked on one previous occasion -- in the action taken against Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks.
"Options are plentiful," he said, referring to shooting incidents on the Turkish-Syrian border which sent bullets spraying into refugee camps on three consecutive days earlier this week and killed four Syrians. A Turkish official and interpreter were also injured.
"Nato also has duties regarding Turkey's borders, according to the fifth article," he added.
For Nato to take action after a relatively minor border incident would be unprecedented. But the threat to invoke the treaty's legal cover will alarm the Assad regime, which has so far been confident that there is little the West can do to harm it so long as China and Russia continue to exercise their veto.
|Question is whether France and Germany would honor an Article 5 call: if they don't, NATO is finished, finished, finished. Expect a LOT of push-back so that Erdogan doesn't make the call in the first place.|
Posted by: tipper