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POLITICS > Turkish army requests Syrian weather forecast to direct artillery

Hurriyet.com.tr

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The Turkish Armed Forces have asked for detailed weather forecasts in Syria in order to more accurately direct artillery strikes, daily Hürriyet reported on its website today. 

The army and the Turkish meteorology department signed a protocol three years ago and founded a forecast system to help guide artillery and missile strikes, the report said.

The system covered areas in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, where clashes often occur between Turkish security forces and militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Today, the army asked for Syria and Iraq to be included in the system in their entirety, as well as an area stretching from the Balkans to the Caspian Sea. 

When the system was first launched a website was founded for the exclusive use of Turkish military personnel where, for instance, an artillery commander could find a 36-hour forecast of weather conditions in a specific target area. The forecasts were updated four times a day, the report said. 

The joint system can produce a weather report in two seconds and predict weather conditions up to an altitude of 40 kilometers with a large range that includes the Black Sea. The conventional Artillery Meteorology System (TOMES) which was used by the military previously, could predict weather conditions up to an altitude of 5 kilometers with a limited range of 15 kilometers and took an hour to produce an accurate report. 

Weather conditions affected the accuracy of artillery strikes up to 67 percent, the report said. 

“We won’t allow a terrorist organization to become an element of threat against our country. We won’t allow a terrorist organization to [set up] bases in northern Syria,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said July 26, after numerous Kurdish cities in northern Syria declared autonomy and solidarity between the PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria became a possibility.

July/30/2012

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