POLITICS > Turkey sends military convoy to Syrian border


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Handout photo by Turkish Armed Forces

Handout photo by Turkish Armed Forces

Turkey has deployed a large number of military vehicles to the Syrian border, daily Milliyet reported.
The shipment included 15 armored tanks, in addition to long-distance guns and other military vehicles. The convoy was heavily guarded as it moved toward the border in the event of an attack by outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members.
Military units reportedly increased security measures on the border following recent events that have strained bilateral relations.

Timeline of Turkey-Syria relations

ANKARA - Agence France-Presse

Relations between Turkey and Syria, which share a long border, have soured since a widespread revolt broke out against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad early last year.

Key developments: - June 2011: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the first time accuses Assad's regime of committing "atrocities" in putting down the revolt.
Large numbers of Syrians begin flocking across the border to escape the violence. By mid-month Turkey says it is sheltering 8,000 Syrians, many of whom are housed in tent cities just within its territory.

- August 9: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visits Damascus and calls on Assad to end the repression.
- September 21: Erdoğan meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in New York. The Turkish leader says his country has broken off contacts with the Syrian regime and is planning to enact sanctions against it.
- October 2: Syrian opposition leaders meeting in the Turkish city of Istanbul announce the creation of a broad-based Syrian National Council.
- October 4: The Turkish news agency Anatolia says Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, who defected from Syria's army in July, has set up a Free Syrian Army operating out of Turkey.
- November 12-13: Pro-regime protesters in Syria attack Turkish diplomatic missions.
- November 30: Turkey says it is cutting trade relations with Syria.
- March 15, 2012: A Turkish official says Syria has laid landmines along the common border to prevent its citizens fleeing. The next day, Turkey advises its nationals to leave Syria.
- March 26: Turkey closes its embassy in Damascus.
- April 1: Istanbul hosts a meeting of the "Friends of Syria", an informal grouping of mainly Western and Arab states.
- April 9: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, says Syrian forces have fired across the border into Turkey at camps housing refugees from the violence.
- April 10: Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, who is mediating in the crisis, visits refugees in Turkey.
- May 30: Turkey, as well as Japan, says it is expelling Syrian diplomats from its territory.
- June 22: Syria shoots down a Turkish fighter plane near the joint border. Turkey requests a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), of which it is a member.

- June 25: The Anatolia news agency says a Syrian army general has defected and crossed into Turkey, taking the total number of such defectors to 13.
- Tuesday, June 26: Turkish prime minister declares Syria a "clear and present danger" for Turkey. All Syrian military vehicles approaching the Turkish border are to be considered a threat from this day on. 

NATO meets at its Brussels headquarters to discuss the shooting-down of the Turkish plane by Syrian forces.
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemns the act as "unacceptable", but the alliance makes no reference to any possible military action against the Syrian regime.


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Blue Dotterel

6/27/2012 4:36:21 PM

Mevlut, Syria is not a threat to Turkey. The fault belongs to Turkey for sending a spy plane into Syria territory. Syrian defense had no choice but to shoot it down. Turkey should apologize to Syria for its plane's transgression, but given that the plane was a deliberate provocation, Erdogan cannot apologize because he would then have effectively admitted to being responsible for the pilots' deaths.

Arthur Borges

6/26/2012 11:15:35 PM

Hurriyet Daily quotes Democratic Left Party leader Masum Turker as saying that the Russian ship Admiral Chabanenko, docked in Lattakia port, shot down the Turkish aircraft, either an RF-4 or QRF-4. If the craft came in low and fast -- a hostile flight profile if there ever was one -- towards the warship's defence perimeter, I can see the anti-aircraft systems reacting or the captain electing to engage. That would explain the conflicting, confusing nature of the early reports.

Emanuel Zahra

6/26/2012 6:30:42 PM

I tend to disagree with the comments of Blue Dotterel, I do not think that Turkey needs any advice or go-ahead from either Washington or Tel Aviv when it comes to Turkey's National Security interests. Yes of course bilateral talks are going on and yes other countries would be involved and that's what Diplomacy is all about. I think the downing of the Turkish plane was a bit too far. It could also mean that the control over the Syrian Army has lost credibility and that can become dangerous.

mevlut erdem

6/26/2012 5:34:33 PM

Well said Blue,but what other option is there? It would be seen as an act of weakness of Turkey if nothing would have been done. They must send a signal. What would you do in this situation?

Blue Dotterel

6/26/2012 4:43:25 PM

Turkey is being marched into war by Washington. Remember it was Erdogan and Gul who supported the US entering SE Turkey to attack Iraq in 2003. It was the AKP rank and file who voted against their leader in waiting and PM. Everything these people do (do not pay attention to what they say), indicates that they are working hand in glove with US and Israeli interests, not in Turkish interest.
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