US to send troops and missiles to Turkey to help defend against Syria
Is the United States's fourth (or is it fifth?) military intervention in the Middle East about to begin? According to a CNN report Friday, Pentagon officials have stated that 400 troops and two Patriot missile batteries will be deployed to Turkey to help defend against threats from Syria.
Leon PanettaLeon Panetta, US Secretary of Defense, reportedly signed the deployment order while en route to Turkey. Two other countries, the Netherlands and Germany, are willing to add missiles to help defend Turkey and “de-escalate the crisis on NATO’southeastern border,” writes CNN.
As the bloodbath in Syria shows no sign of abating, the US has accused Syria of also escalating the types of weapons used against rebels and innocent civilians. Though the Syrian government denies this, calling the US allegations “untrue rumors,” the Pentagon claimed Scud-type artillery was being fired from Damascus on rebels in the north of the country, with one missile reportedly falling close to Turkey’s border.
Claims of President Bashar al-Assad gearing up to use chemical weapons on his people also were made, but Assad and his government are also levying their accusations, saying the US and Turkey were concocting lies to make “them look bad internationally.”
Word out of the Pentagon is Assad’s regime is beginning to crumple as the rebels capture more and more of the interior and NATO officials worry this might tip the scales even more against the Syrian people, who are already suffering. If Assad feels his regime’s days are numbered, and sees the US stockpiling missiles on its borders with Turkey, he might use more devastating weaponry on his people.
However, Panetta doesn’t seem to be worried about that scenario, reportedly saying this when asked about that fear Friday, “We can’t spend a lot of time worrying about whether that pisses off Syria.”
No one knows for sure how many have died, for the Syrian governement has reportedly under-reported their losses and the rebels may not be able to keep an accurate score of the many innocent civilans caught in the deadly crossfire. An estimated 40 - 50,000 people may have been killed in this ongoing civil war, which erupted March 15, 2011. The uprising, which started as part of the “Arab Spring,” was spurred by opposition to Assad wanting to put an end to almost 50 years of the Baath party’s rule.
But where people in Egypt, Yemen and Syria have succeeded in ousting the dictators, the Syrian people have not. Consequently the dead are piling up on both sides, with civilians caught in the almost two years of intense violence.
No one has intervened as the US and allied forces did in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and the killing continues. Is this latest overt move by the US a sign that an invasion is imminent? Our troops are stretched thin and are over-utilized, with many young soldiers doing numerous deployments in the Middle East. On top of that, the ballooning financial and human cost is stunning; can we afford another military intervention?
The US has been in the Middle East militarily for so long, I think most citizens have lost track of why we are even there. Chaos, atrocities and human rights violation are happening in several other parts of the globe, yet we have managed to turn a blind eye. In fact, America does business with others and even owes one (China) billions or maybe even trillions of dollars. So what is keeping us in that particular part of the world, especially when we have propped up some of those very dictators in the past?