Deadly border skirmishes

7 October 2012 06:36 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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IT IS difficult to ascertain incursions on the border. But low-level skirmishes reported on the internationally recognised frontiers often blow into full-scale wars. The Sino-Indian conflict five decades ago is a case in point.

The same seems to be unfolding in a somewhat unsophisticated manner on the Turkish-Syrian border, as salvos are reportedly being fired from either side.
This is unwarranted and quite disappointing in a situation when the region is in a state of flux.

The crisis in Syria and the failure on the part of Damascus and the world community to strike an equation of consensus between the warring factions in the strife-torn Arab country is worrisome. The diaspora on the borders of Syria and the restlessness with which Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey are responding to the fissures are getting too volatile to say the least.
The border clashes that reportedly killed civilians on either side of the divide in Turkey and Syria over the last few weeks are in need of being calmed down, and confidence-building measures initiated.

There is no point for the neighbouring countries to cross swords, and that too at a time when socio-political upheavals are unpredictable.
The situation seems to be further compounded with the rhetoric in which both states had indulged in. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has warned Syria of dire consequences if it attempted to test Turk deterrence. Similarly, Damascus, that has time and again accused Ankara of meddling in its domestic affairs, by virtue of allegedly harbouring opposition-rebel elements on its soil, says that it won’t be too tolerant in the long run.
This diatribe from responsible highest echelons of power is unfortunate.
What Syria and Turkey need to do, in the first possible attempt, is to initiate measures to fend off the crisis and ensure that amateurish attempts to conflagrate the crisis are subdued.



Ankara and Damascus are surely in need of reaching each other and understanding the discord in the light of reconciliation.
The raising of stakes in the form of calling for the ouster of the regime and threats of retaliation are not going to serve the purpose.
Bringing an end to the civil war, defusing the border tension and finding a solution to the hundreds and thousands of homeless people teeming on the borders with Turkey cannot be shelved for another day.
The United Nations is already trailing behind in finding a robust solution, and is devoid of consensus to this day. An express involvement is thus indispensable.



KHALEEJ TIMES
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