DAMASCUS, Oct .5 (Xinhua) -- The tension between Syria and Turkey has dramatically increased over the past three days, stoking fears that the Syrian internal crisis would spill over borders, through various ways, to its neighbors.
Following alleged Syria's shelling of a Turkish border town that killed five civilians and Turkey's retaliation by bombarding certain targets inside Syria on Thursday, world powers have pressed hard to contain the fallout of the incident and prevent a possible full-fledged war in the region.
The Turkish parliament has authorized a mandate to approve cross-border military action into Syria in response to the deaths of five civilians. However, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has no intention of starting war in the region.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon also expressed "concern over the escalation of tension on the border between Syria and Turkey," and called on all concerned parties to exercise utmost restraint.
Over the past 18 months, there have always been fears among neighboring countries of being dragged into the conflict. Sporadic gunfire, stray bullets and mortar rounds, had struck Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, but had always been contained by all parties.
Experts suggest that Turkey is apparently afraid of a possible rise in the military tension along its borders with Syria to an extent that might push Damascus to open some of its arms depots for the Kurdish PKK guerrillas who regularly fight the Turkish army south of Turkey.
They say Syria might supply the PKK fighters with anti-tank missiles and Kornet tanks, making thereby the Turkish tanks and armored vehicles an easy target for the Kurdish fighters.
Worries have remarkably amplified after the serious signals emitted from the Syrian-Turkish borders, which is like a wakeup call that reverberates in surrounding countries that are vulnerable to the spillover of Syria's crisis.
The Lebanese, who have chosen since the outbreak of the Syrian unrest to adopt the self-distancing policies, are also worried about the erosion of the country's ability to protect the minimum limit of stability at present and to be drawn, willingly or unwillingly, to the conflict.
Western media quoted recently Lebanese sources and Syrian activists as alleging that a senior Hezbollah commander and two Hezbollah fighters have been killed near the Syrian town of Qusair, bordering northern Lebanon. The reports say the three Hezbollah men were killed in a Syrian rebel ambush on Saturday or Sunday.
The alleged incident has raised the danger of an outbreak of a sectarian war in Lebanon between pro- and anti-Syrian Lebanese parties.
Several international capitals have underscored the need to neutralize Lebanon from the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, not only out of concern for Lebanon, but also to keep Syria in the spotlight and keep attention focused on it, probably to intensify pressure on the current administration and prevent it from taking its breath.
Thus, those countries, according to analysts, work not to distract attention from the Syrian file, and strike to contain everything that could ease the international focus on this file.
Analysts believe that if Syria fell into the trap of division, the entire region would be fragmented, contending that it is enough for the wind to start blowing from Syria to crack its neighboring countries from Jordan to Turkey via Iraq and Lebanon.
Iraq's military also worked hard to staunch spillover from Syria's crisis, and tightened border controls as it is busy with its own insurgency and sectarian violence. Baghdad acknowledges that Sunni Islamist fighters are crossing the porous border to fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is part of the Alawite minority.
Iraq's Shi'ite-led government has resisted pressure from Sunni Arab Gulf neighbors for Baghdad to take a tougher line with Assad, as it maintains close ties to Assad's main ally, Shi'ite power Iran.
However, the Iraqi authorities, in an unprecedented step that is construed to be aiming to ease U.S. concerns that Iraq is allowing Iran to fly military supplies to help the Syrian administration, had recently ordered an Iranian cargo plane heading to Syria to land in Baghdad for a search, then allowed the flight to proceed after no weapons were found.
Observers believe that all regional countries should work to ease the tension in Syria and to find a soft-landing strategy to the 18-months-old crisis in Syria without further escalating the combustible situation.