Turkish PM Erdogan
Photo: AFP
Syria's Bashar Assad
Photo: AFP

Report: Turkey deploys troops on Syrian border

Turkish daily says tanks, armored vehicles mobilized following downing of Turkish fighter jet by Syrian army

Turkey has deployed a large number of tanks and other armored vehicles to the Syrian border amid rising tensions with Damascus over the downing of a Turkish fighter jet by the Syrian army, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported Tuesday.


Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed his new government and said his country was in a real state of war. He gave no sign of a softer approach towards a pro-democracy revolt by ordering his newly appointed government to direct all policies towards winning.


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"We live in a real state of war from all angles," Assad told a cabinet he appointed on Tuesday. "When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war."

אסד בהשבעת הממשלה (צילום: AFP,HO, SANA)

Assad addresses new cabinet (Photo: AFP)


Assad snubbed countries that have been calling for him to step aside, saying the West "takes and never gives and this has been proven at every stage".


According to Hurriyet Daily, the Turkish deployment included 15 armored tanks in addition to long-distance guns and other military vehicles. "The convoy was heavily guarded en route to the border fearing an attack by Kurdish rebels," the report said.


The move comes hours after Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to retaliate against Damascus over the downing of its fighter jet.


Erdogan said that Turkey changes the rules of engagement with Syria and branded its former ally as "a clear and imminent threat".


Russia urges restraint

Also Tuesday, Russia said Syria's shooting down of the warplane should not be seen as a provocation and warned world powers against using the incident to push for stronger action against Damascus.


"It is important that what happened is not viewed as a provocation or a premeditated action (by Syria)," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.


Moscow reiterated calls for restraint, warning that any political escalation would be "extremely dangerous" and threaten international efforts to salvage a moribund six-point Syrian peace plan drawn up by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.


"Once again, we call on all sides to act exclusively in the interests of such an agenda (the peace plan) and not to take steps that go beyond its limits," the ministry said.


AP and Reuters contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 06.26.12, 23:24
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