25 new jets to the Syrian border – and aggressive war talk from Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Israel and Iran must be watching very closely.
Turkey has confirmed it is deploying more fighter jets to an airbase close to the border with Syria, amid artillery exchanges along its tense southeastern border with Syria.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, addressed parliament on the issue on Tuesday, saying that his country does not want war, but that Turkey needs to be prepared for anything.
At least 25 additional F-16 fighter jets were deployed at Turkey’s Diyarbakir air base late on Monday.
Meanwhile, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, said that Ankara can rely on the alliance, which has “all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary”.
Rasmussen warned against the dangers of the conflict in Syria escalating, saying alliance member Turkey had shown commendable restraint in response to the shelling of its border area.
“I would like to commend the Turkish government for the restraint it has shown in its response to the completely unacceptable Syrian attacks,” Rasmussen said as he went into a two-day NATO defence ministers meeting.
“Obviously Turkey has a right to defend herself within international law,” he said, noting that the alliance has “all necessary plans in place to protect and to defend Turkey if necessary”. (…)
(Via Al Jazeera.. Mideast..)