Turkey, Israel, Cyprus on Syrian alert

An interesting tidbit from MENA, the Egyptian official news agency (sorry, no link):

KUWAIT, Feb 17 (MENA) - Israel and Turkey have put their air forces and
airstrips near the border with Syria at maximum alert Wednesday dawn
following European and US notifications over possibile Western military
intervention in Syria and Lebanon to topple their regimes in the fashion
of Iraq's Saddam, according to a Kuwaiti paper.

Al-Siyasa's Thursday issue quoted security reports from the North
Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) command in Brussels as saying that the
British government has opened its two key airstrips in the Greek part of
Cyprus for US, French and European air forces.

The reports added decisions are expected to be taken very soon to send
the troops there to be on their marks for military intervention in Syria
and Lebanon.

All Western parties, including the United States and France, have asked
the Ariel Sharon government in Tel Aviv not to take part in any direct
military operations against Syria and Lebanon, according to the NATO
reports. (MENA)

This is probably routine increasing of alert because of the current situation, but see how it is being portrayed in the press.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.