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Did Turkey Just Declare War On Syria?

The Turkish Parliament has “authorized military operations” against Syria.  So exactly what does that mean?  Did Turkey just declare war on Syria?  For now, the government of Turkey is making a clear distinction between “military operations” and “declaring war”.   If Turkey were to “declare war”, that would likely involve Turkish troops actually entering Syria, and the war would not be considered “won” until certain objectives are achieved.  So by just authorizing “military operations” against Syria, Turkey can sit back and fire off artillery rounds (and potentially call in air strikes if necessary) without being committed to entering Syria or attacking Damascus.  Turkey is not too keen on invading Syria by itself anyway.  Turkey would want the help of NATO in such an event, and right now Barack Obama has made it abundantly clear to the Turkish government that he is not going to participate in an attack on Syria before the election.  Obama has been leading in the polls and he has way too much to lose by starting another war.  But what all of this does show us is a couple of things.  First of all, once again we see that the Middle East is a tinderbox that can erupt at any moment.  Second of all, just the rumors of a war between Turkey and Syria sent the price of oil absolutely skyrocketing on Thursday.  It is frightening to imagine what a real war in the Middle East might do to the price of oil. (Read More...)