Sat, October 13, 2012
World > Middle East

Turkey deploys 250 tanks, 55 jets on border with Syria

2012-10-12 20:43:05 GMT2012-10-13 04:43:05(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Turkey deployed250 tanks and 55 jets of various models on border with Syria on Friday

Turkey bolstered military presence on the border with Syria by deploying 250 tanks and 55 jets of various models on Friday after a Syrian military helicopter bombed the Syrian border town of Azmarin.

Local English daily Today's Zaman reported that the tanks were deployed in the provinces of Sanliurfa and Mardin after the government ordered the military's readiness for a possible clash with Syrian forces.

Armored vehicles and heavy weapons have been stationed while artillery units were also sent to the region, according to the report.

There has been intense fighting between rebels and Syrian government forces this week in Azmarin and neighboring towns.

Fighting along Turkey's 910-km border with Syria has repeatedly spilled over into Turkish territory in the past week, with the Turkish army responding in kind to gunfire and mortar shells fired from Syria.

Turkish Armed Forces' Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel said Wednesday his troops would respond "with greater force" if the shells continued to land on Turkish soil.

Syria says Turkey must display confiscated gears to prove its claims

Syrian Information Ministry on Thursday rejected Turkish claims that the Syrian commercial plane grounded forcefully in Turkey was carrying ammunition, challenging Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to display the confiscated gears to prove the claims.

In a statement carried by the state TV, the ministry said the Syrian commercial plane was not carrying any ammunition or military gears, adding that Erdogan's remarks "lack credibility."

"He (Erdogan) must display those gears to prove his claims at least for his people," the ministry said.

Turkish authorities ordered the Syrian passenger plane, travelling from Moscow to Damascus, to land late Wednesday over intelligence of "non-civilian cargo."

Erdogan said Thursday that the Syrian passenger plane was carrying Russian-made munitions destined for Syria's defense ministry.

With debates surrounding the intercepted Syrian plane in full swing, Erdogan said the plane was forced to land because a civilian plane cannot carry materials used in the defense industry.

The recent incident cast oil to the fire between both countries after their relation hit a new low last week following mutual cross-border firing.


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