March 29, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The small northwestern Syrian town of Kassab, located directly on the Syrian-Turkish border, has turned into a pivotal battleground between Syrian security forces and armed militants backed by the Turkish military. The clashes grabbed headlines last Sunday when Turkey shot down a Syrian warplane conducting airstrikes along the border as the militants crossed over into Syrian territory.
A Turkish F-16 fired a rocket at the Syrian jet and it crashed around 1,200 meters (1,300 yards) inside Syrian territory.
Clearly the Turkish government knew Syrian forces were engaging militants Ankara itself was harboring in its territory and any cross-border pursuits carried out by Syria posed no threat to the security of Turkey any more than the cross-boarder pursuits the Turkish government regularly conducts in northern Iraq against Kurdish militants. Instead, it appears that Turkish warplanes were in fact providing air cover for the militants crossing over into Syria.
More alarming is the fact that the militants have been identified across the Western media as hailing from the US State Department designated terrorist organization Jabhat Al Nusra - Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise. The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East RealTime reported in a post titled, “Latakia Offensive Stirs Dark Memories for Armenian-Syrians,”that:
When hardline Islamist rebels took over swaths of Latakia province this week, it provided them with their first outpost on the Mediterranean Sea.
The military offensive was symbolic for several reasons: rebels from al Nusra Front taking over northern parts of Bashar al Assad’s hometown province while the Turkish air force shot down a regime war plane trying to bombard the rebel advancement, as it flew near their shared border. Nusra is al Qaeda’s sanctioned offshoot in Syria.
A NATO member providing air support for Al Qaeda incursions into a neighboring country could not be a more egregious violation of national sovereignty or international law. Yet Turkey has apparently not stopped there in seeking to escalate tensions with Syria. A recently leaked conversation between the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, and Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, reveals Turkey’s plans to stage a false flag attack on Turkey itself to provoke war with Syria.