POLITICS > Turkey deploys missile batteries on Syrian border

ISKENDERUN, Turkey - Reuters

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A convoy of about 30 military vehicles, including trucks loaded with missile batteries, arrived in Turkey's coastal town of İskenderun and deployed near the the Syrian border 50 kilometers away, Turkish agencies said.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, who has given shelter in the border area to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced after Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish warplane last Friday he would step up security there.
Turkish television film showed the column moving off on Wednesday, escorted by police cars, along a narrow highway leading out of the main port of Turkey's Hatay province. It included rocket launchers on transporters, anti-aircraft artillery and military ambulances.
Erdoğan said any military element moving towards the Turkish border and deemed threatening would be declared a military target. The preponderance of air defence weapons in the convoy suggested Turkey was preparing for any possible approach by Syrian helicopters or warplanes.
State-run Anatolia news agency said armored military vehicles were being transported to military installations in Şanlıurfa, in the middle of Turkey's border with Syria and Hatay, a panhandle province that juts down into Syria.
It said several military vehicles had traveled separately to a military garrison in the border town of Reyhanlı in Hatay.
There have been no details given of new rules of engagement issued to troops after the shooting down of the warplane which Turkey says was in international air space.
The Hatay province is sheltering over 33,000 refugees as well as elements of the rebel Free Syrian Army.


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The Lion

6/28/2012 8:07:29 PM

Rimon Tree, we will smack around the Alawite dictators just like we did to past dictators who oppresed the Syrian people (Mamluks, French occupiers). The Mamluks at least fought on behalf of Islam and compared to the Alawites they were good but there has to be a reason why the Syrians cheered when the Ottomans took Syria from them.

Hakan Salci

6/28/2012 7:25:52 PM

These systems are used exclusively for gathering intelligence on enemy formations as well as giving indication of enemy movements; what looks like to be the case is that the jet was on a recon mission in support of Syrian rebels. The official story of the plane being used to test ground based radar is also one that is suspicious in that testing of radars usually involves small, agile aircraft with reduced radar cross-sections; the exact oppositte of an RF-4E Phantom.

Hakan Salci

6/28/2012 7:20:32 PM

Although I would always take the side of my country, Turkey, in any confrontation the deeds of the AKP and its policy towards Syria has pushed us to this point. With modern Inertial Navigation (INS) and GPS systems in the recently modernised RF-4E Phantoms it is difficult to sell the idea that the jet had no idea it was entering Syrian airspace. Another factor is the reconnaissance aspect of the plane loaded with LOROP and possibly SAR\GMTI payloads with Link 11 and Link 16 capability.

Turk Uzan

6/28/2012 6:11:33 PM

@ Mr Somalia, Russia is no match vs NATO and will NEVER stage an attack on Turkey who's it's major trade partner, strategic ally and most importantly a NATO nation. If Russia ever attacks Turkey, all NATO nations are obliged to help Turkey. China just wants to piss of the US as usual and keep their ties with Moscow tight. @ Blue Dotterel, A provocation is what I'd call shooting a jet of a neighbor with no prior warning. Not to mention Assad's forces have shot at refugees on our side a few times


6/28/2012 6:00:19 PM

Yes, Turkey was supporting the oppositio but only politically. There was never any overt military support or weapons transfer. Whatever smuggling of arms took place, Syrian opposition did it mostly with their own means. That may change now. I still hope and expect Turkey to respect international boundries and does not give Assad what it desperately needs: a distraction.

Blue Dotterel

6/28/2012 3:54:43 PM

Yet, another provocation by the AKP. First they arm and protect terrorists, then they invade Syrian airspace, now they threaten war by militarizing the border. No doubt there will be a false flag operation on the border to pretend Turkey is the victim rather than the aggressor. Turkey has been made a major threat to ME peace.

Rimon Tree

6/28/2012 3:16:46 PM

@ ilker you are getting drawn off by your wishes! If Turkey would fire on a Syrian aircraft that would not be within Turkish space, there would be really war and no NATO or no US or UK and other warmongers could help Turkey in that case. I hope you don't wish for that, do you?

ilker avni

6/28/2012 1:01:59 PM

Turkey deploying her military will give the oppostion forces a great boost to their moral, many more of Assads army will defect,with this move it allso makes it impossiable for Assads airforce to fly anywhere near the border with Turkey.Checkmate to Turkey.
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