Imagine that you live in a place with no law enforcement with your family
Imagine that your family has some major problems. Imagine that your next door neighbor might be inclined to intervene if things get too bad. Imagine that the next door neighbor is a Black Belt in a serious combat oriented martial art. Pretend that rather than telling him to stay out of your business, you beat up his daughter in front of him to send the message.
That's essentially what's going on between Syria and Turkey.
From Fox News:
Syria's cross-border attacks on Turkey in the past week look increasingly like they could be an intentional escalation meant to send a clear message to Ankara and beyond, that the crisis is simply too explosive to risk foreign military intervention.
With Turkey eager to defuse the crisis, the spillover of fighting is giving new life to a longshot political solution, with the Turks floating the idea of making President Bashar Assad's longtime vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa, interim leader if the president steps aside.
The most recent flare-up between Syria and Turkey started Wednesday, when a shell fired from Syria slammed into a house in the Turkish border village of Akcakale, killing two women and three children. That set off the most serious and prolonged eruption of violence along the frontier since the uprising began nearly 19 months ago.
Although it was not clear whether Wednesday's shelling was intentional, Turkey responded swiftly by firing back and convening parliament for a vote that authorized further cross-border military operations if necessary.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cautioned Damascus not to test Turkey's "limits and determination." But the Syrian shelling has continued every day — leading many observers to conclude the acts are intentional provocation.
"It's not an accident. You can't send shells across the border by mistake five days in a row," said Mustafa Alani, a Middle East analyst of the Geneva-based Gulf Research Center, just hours before Syrian shelling struck Turkey for a sixth day.
According to Alani, escalating the crisis serves as a reminder to NATO, Turkey and the West that Syria's civil war can inflame the region with lightning speed. The threat of a spillover is likely to pressure Western powers into drafting a political solution, part of which could involve Assad's exit from power, rather than his being toppled by force.
The apparent "logic" behind the attacks is that Turkey doesn't want a war. Just because they don't want a war doesn't mean that they won't start one to protect their citizens. Just because the hypothetical Black Belt neighbor doesn't want to kill anyone won't prevent him from kill you if you start beating up on his daughter right in front of him.
We'll see how Turkey responds to this, but if given the Syrian response to their attempts to resolve this peacefully, this is looking like it could flare into a real war.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi scoffed at Davutoglu's proposal, saying it reflects "obvious political and diplomatic confusion and blundering."al-Zoubi should count himself lucky that he isn't dealing with the Ottoman Empire - the only person who outmatched them for ruthlessness during their time was Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia - because they'd probably find something creative to do with him and the government he represents. As it is, if the modern Turks decide to go to war, they'll probably settle for a 5.56 mm hemorrhage.
"Turkey isn't the Ottoman Sultanate; the Turkish Foreign Ministry doesn't name custodians in Damascus, Mecca, Cairo and Jerusalem," al-Zoubi said Monday.