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Monday, October 6, 2014

Turkish Tanks Mass Near the Syrian Border of Kobane

(Story here). The town has seen fierce fighting between Kurds and forces from ISIS. Meanwhile, right across the border, Turkey has drawn up a line of tanks. According to the article, the buildup of tanks is to keep ISIS from crossing the border. ABC News reports:

The NATO alliance has drawn up a strategy to defend Turkey if it is attacked along its border with Syria, a Turkish official said Monday. 
Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, whose country is a NATO member, said the alliance did that at his government's request as Islamic State militants, who have captured a large swath of Iraq and Syria, are trying to take the Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border. 
"If there is an attack, NATO's joint defense mechanisms will be activated," Yilmaz told reporters. "From the moment the incidents relating to Syria first started, we asked NATO to prepare for possibilities to make plans. NATO prepared a plan taking various alternatives into account." 
"Therefore," he said, "if there is an attack on Turkey, NATO will bring about the provisions of Article 5 of the Washington Convention." Article 5 states that an attack against one NATO member shall be considered an attack against all members. 
NATO's new secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, appeared to confirm what Turkey was saying during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday.
I suspect that the tanks are there more for the purpose of pinning the Kurds in place rather than to keep ISIS out.

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