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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

Turkey jet crisis unlikely to pull NATO into Syria

Turkish Coast Guard searches for downed plane

By SLOBODAN LEKIC and SUZAN FRASER

BRUSSELS — Syria’s downing of a Turkish fighter-bomber has the feel of a turning point that could drag Western powers into a conflict that is spiraling out of control.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has vowed to hold Syria to account, while Britain’s foreign minister said Damascus won’t be allowed to act with impunity.

But for all the hard talk, the prospect of Western military intervention in Syria remains remote, at best.

For one thing, military action is unlikely to get the support of either the U.N. Security Council or the Arab League, and outside intervention without the blessing of both of those bodies is all but unthinkable. And there is little appetite among the 28 NATO countries — of which the U.S. is the largest — for another war in the Middle East.

Libya was hard enough, and for a many nervous months it looked as if that conflict might end in an embarrassing stalemate for the West. And Syria would be tougher than Libya. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army is better equipped, better trained, better paid and far more loyal than was that of late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddhafi.

READ FULL STORY HERE.

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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