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14 Apr, 2012 13:41

‘US heavily presses Turkey into ganging up on Syria’

Washington is pressuring Ankara to play the role in Syria that France played in Libya - to be the stalking horse for United States' interests there, researcher and author F. William Engdahl told RT.

Engdahl said that CIA director Petraeus is almost weekly in Turkey on a visit. “We can imagine he is not talking about the quality of Turkish tea,” he says.The expert, who’s monitoring events at the Syrian border, is sure that the CIA as well as French and British intelligence have trained the rebels and sent them to Syria:“These are armed gangs of mercenaries who often don't even know who they are fighting for or who they are fighting against. They are just paid money, given guns and go in there.”Turkey has hosted refugee camps for around 24,000 Syrian refugees, including some amount of army defectors.But Damascus insists the Free Syrian Army is using the refugee camps as springboards to launch incursions into Syria and accuse Ankara of plotting against them.This week several cross-border raids with clashes resulted in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warning that being a NATO-member his country could seek the alliance’s help if other violations occur.But Engdahl told RT that despite Washington’s pressure on Turkey, conflict between Ankara and Damascus is highly unlikely. The problem lies in the fact that 20% of the Turkish population is Alawite, which is the same branch of Islam that the Assad family is from.Therefore the Turkish cabinet knows that a military conflict with Syria will be the end of the Erdogan government inside Turkey, the expert believes.However Engdahl accuses Turkey of taking an active part in destabilizing the Assad government in Syria. He calls the situation in the country “an armed intervention and the illegal violation of the UN Charter by the US and various other countries including most likely Turkey.”