Turkey's shelling of targets in Syria in response to the killing of five of its citizens by incoming mortar fire onto the border town of Akcakale poses a danger of regional military escalation.
The US and Nato, which were initially apprehensive over the election of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist administration, together with its support for breaching Israel's blockade against Gaza, have rowed in behind his government.
Nato condemned the deaths, adding that "the alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was "outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border," blissfully ignoring her own government's constant use of drones to slaughter thousands of Pakistani citizens by remote control.
William Hague was similarly appalled by an "outrageous act" in which "Turkish citizens have been killed inside Turkey by forces from another country."
Hague has not uttered a word of criticism over Washington's extraterritorial assassination policy but leaps to judgement in this instance.
The British Foreign Secretary expressed "strong solidarity with Turkey" but he insisted that Britain didn't want to see a "continuing escalation of this incident," urging Damascus to ensure no repetition of this or similar incidents.
His Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said that the Syrian government has described the mortar attack as a "tragic accident," which would "not happen again." He urged the Assad government to make an official statement to this effect.
Damascus expressed condolences to the Turkish people for their loss and promised to investigate the incident.
Whereas it might appear an open-and-shut case, things are not always as they seem and other matters need examination.
The Turkish government moved heavy artillery up to the border several days before an initial mortar assault on Akcakale, after which Foreign Minister Davutoglu gave warning of a fitting riposte in the event of it happening again.
Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been urging Turkey to intervene militarily in the Syrian conflict for some time, not least because the armed rebellion has stalled in recent weeks.
Opposition forces rely increasingly on bomb attacks such as those that killed dozens of people in Aleppo this week. According to the New York Times, defections from the Syrian armed forces to the Free Syrian Army rebels "have flowed to a trickle," necessitating more decisive outside involvement.
Neither the US nor the European Union is in a position to intervene directly, remaining bogged down militarily in their criminal adventure in Afghanistan.
In any case, neither Moscow nor Beijing will allow themselves to be taken in by "humanitarian" arguments that would permit a reprise of regime change in Libya.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused international backers of anti-Assad forces of supporting al-Qaida-linked groups in their desire to overthrow the regime.
"If that's the case, one should unlock Guantanamo, arm all of its inmates and bring them to Syria to do the fighting. It's practically the same kind of people," he said.
The US and its EU acolytes should acknowledge the disastrous results of their incitement in Syria.
They should cease subsidising armed intervention and urge a ceasefire on all sides and negotiations to achieve a resolution of the conflict, democratic reforms and human rights.
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