Gov’t puts army into ‘high state of readiness’
ISTANBUL / AKÇAKALE
AA photoTurkey’s government has put its military into a “high state of readiness” over simmering tensions along the border with Syria amid a continuing visit by the country’s top soldier to inspect troops massed along the frontier.
“We want to give a strong message to the Syrian regime that Turkey is determined to protect its borders and people and is ready to do whatever necessary – that is the meaning of high-level readiness,” a high-ranking official said.
The new level, which was ordered by the government after a Syrian shell killed five Turks in Akçakale
last week, is one degree higher than when Ankara changed its rules of engagement after Damascus shot down a Turkish jet in June. (Turkish government upgrades military readiness)
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, meanwhile, targeted Syria as he continued his inspection of
troops on the border. “We are here, and we are standing tall,” he said in Akçakale yesterday. “We have retaliated [for Akçakale], and if it continues, we’ll respond more strongly.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, said yesterday Turkey had no intention of intervening
in Syria’s domestic politics while blaming President Bashar al-Assad for leading his nation into
civil war. (Turkey warns of tougher response on Syria shelling)
In Homs, the government launched a new operation to dislodge militants ahead of a plan to send government troops to fight in Aleppo.