Today Turkey retaliated to Syrian grenade and mortar attacks by bombing targets across the border. Here’s what you need to know about the escalating conflict.
1. This is the First Direct Military Contact between Turkey and Syria since the Civil War Began
Turkey has been growing concerned with the Syrian conflict and called for the resignation of Al-Assad from power. But this is the first direct military interaction between the two countries, even though in June Al-Assad forces allegedly shot down a Turkish fighter jet over Syrian airspace, killing two pilots.
2. It’s Not Known Whether the Mortar Attack Was by Syrian forces or Syrian Rebels
This attack came on the same day of increased fighting in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, where today alone 34 people were killed by suicide bombers. The ancient city has seen its entire downtown area obliterated since Friday.
9. The Pentagon Isn’t too Concerned about Turkey
Though the U.S. government has said it’s watching events with “some degree of concern”, those words don’t really have people worried about U.S. troops being deployed in the region.
10. Turkey Has Been Involved in High-Level Discussions over the Future of Syria
On August 23 it was announced that Turkish officials had met with U.S. representatives over the future of a Assad-less Syria. The meeting was first brokered by Hilary Clinton, but she didn’t attend. The meeting was put forward after Barack Obama said that any chemical attacks carried out by Assad’s regime would be a “red line” and would change how the U.S. viewed the conflict.