Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad
has canceled his planned visit to Turkey, Ankara's news agency Today Zaman reported Sunday.
A Turkish diplomatic source confirmed that the visit, planned for Monday, was canceled, but the report was not corroborated by any official Iranian source.
News of the visit's cancellation followed a statement by Iranian Chief of Staff General Hassan Firouzabadi, who warned the West Saturday that deploying Patriot
batteries along the Turkey-Syria border may trigger "a world war."
The Patriots, along with some 400 ground troops, were sent the Turkey following Ankara's request for NATO assistance vis-à-vis the growing tension between the country and Syria.
Once close allies, tensions between Ankara and Damascus have been steadily growing as the attempts by Syrian President Bashar Assad
to crush the rebels trying to topple his regime have been escalating.
Syrian mortar fire has hit Turkish soil several times over the past few weeks. Iran's alliance with Syria,
however, remains unshaken and the Iranian general warned the West that engaging the mid-range defense system against Syria in any way will "set fire to the entire region."
Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
last met in October, in Baku, Azerbaijan, as part of a regional cooperation summit.
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