Turkey-Syria Border Tension: Three Things to Know
Videos

Turkey-Syria Border Tension: Three Things to Know

October 4, 2012 2:03 pm (EST)

Turkey-Syria Border Tension: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video

Turkey’s parliament has authorized the country’s military to take further action against Syria after a mortar attack on Turkish territory killed five civilians. CFR’s Steven A. Cook says the decision is unlikely to lead to war between Turkey and Syria for three reasons:

More From Our Experts
  • Turkish interests: While the Turks reserve the right to retaliate against Syrian provocations, they have also clearly indicated that "they are not interested in the Syrian conflict widening," Cook says.
  • Syrian interests: "Syrians don’t want war themselves," Cook says, and they have conveyed that cross-border shelling will not happen again.
  • The Kurdish factor: Turkey is also unlikely to pursue a full-scale invasion of Syria because it could encourage the nationalist sentiments of Syria’s large Kurdish population, and result in violent action by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Cook argues.

Top Stories on CFR

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

The Madrid summit paved the way for Finland and Sweden to join and underscored that Russia is NATO’s chief security threat. But the alliance’s new defensive efforts aren’t likely to change Putin’s strategy in Ukraine.

Immigration and Migration

Support for immigration in the West must be balanced with concern about governance in African countries. 

Ukraine

Ukraine’s first steps toward eventual EU membership are the start of a long process that has raised the stakes in the country’s war with Russia.