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Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | Thursday, October 11, 2012

Turkey playing with fire

After Turkish fighter jets forced a Syrian passenger plane to land in Ankara, tensions between the two countries have mounted. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry the plane, which was flying from Moscow, was carrying military supplies. Syria's Transport Ministry has denied the claims and accused Turkey of "air piracy". Turkey's approach is extremely risky, the left-liberal daily Tagesspiegel warns: "The danger of a new war in the Middle East is real. In the event of a military conflict between Turkey and Syria, Iran and Lebanon could quickly be dragged into the maelstrom, with consequences for Israel and beyond. Some commentators believe this is precisely what Assad is aiming for, to internationalise the Syrian conflict and save his regime through direct intervention by a partner like Iran. Any ill-considered decision by the politicians and the military in Ankara and Damascus could have serious and almost uncontrollable repercussions."

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