Growing Turkish involvement in the Syrian crisis continues to occupy the top headlines of Arab dailies Thursday, as Turkey grounds a Syrian passenger jet and reportedly discovers missile components on board.
“Turkey warns Syria of harsh retaliation,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, quoting Turkish chief of staff Necdet Özel. The daily also reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has accused Turkey of “arrogance” in its military response to Syria.
Al-Jazeera reports that Turkish authorities have allowed the Syrian Airbus A-320 arriving from Moscow to continue on to Damascus, after confiscating suspicious cargo reported by Turkish media to be missile components.
The channel also reports on an upcoming meeting of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) in Qatar next week. The Council is planning to undergo a structural reform and move its activity from abroad into Syria. It will later create a transitional government, Al-Jazeera reports.
“Will we witness a change in the Russian stance on Syria?” asks Syrian Al-Hayat columnist Fayez Sara, answering in the affirmative. Sara claims that Russia is changing its policy towards Syria by agreeing to receive members of the Syrian opposition and international envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. A second indicator, claims Sara, is President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey next week, and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s trip to Egypt and Saudi Arabia in early November.
‘The Mission of these forces is suspicious. They may be the core, or avant-garde, to greater numbers of American soldiers who will flock to Jordan later in preparation for military intervention in the Syrian crisis’
“The secret of Russia’s change in position is tied to the nearing end of the US presidential elections, which mean that Washington … is able to take a bolder decision on Syria.” The growing number of refugees fleeing from Syria, and the weakening of Iran contribute to Russia’s need to end the Syrian crisis quickly, claims Sara.
Meanwhile, Abdul Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, casts doubt on information published by the New York Times earlier this week whereby 150 members of US special forces are operating in northern Jordan to assist the Hashemite kingdom with managing the refugee influx.
“This deception cannot fool anybody,” writes Atwan. “Jordan’s experience with refugee influxes is unparalleled by any other country.”
“The Mission of these forces is suspicious. They may be the core, or avant-garde, to greater numbers of American soldiers who will flock to Jordan later in preparation for military intervention in the Syrian crisis, under various pretexts, including control of Syrian chemical weapons; preventing them from falling into the hands of ‘terrorist’ groups.
Jordan appoints new prime minister
Jordan’s King Abdullah appointed Abdullah Ensour, a former parliament member and minister, as the Kingdom’s new prime minister in place of Fayez Tarawneh, whose government resigned on Wednesday.
Al-Hayat reports that the appointment was received with surprise on the street and among state officials, since Ensour has expressed his adamant opposition to the current election law, known as “one man one voice,” under which parliamentary elections are to be held next month.
Recognition, my dears, will not liberate the land the following day, but will cement our claim that our land is occupied and not disputed’
Ensour, claims Al-Hayat, is considered a seasoned politician, closer in his views to the “moderate pro-reform opposition.”
Tarawneh’s government lasted only 194 days, and was unpopular on the street due to its conservative positions, reports Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
The main role of Prime Minister Ensour will be to convince political parties, primarily the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front, to participate in the upcoming elections, which they currently intend to boycott, claims the daily’s Jordan correspondent Bassam Badarin.