Turkey Isues Border Warning To Syria

Turkey issues border warning to Syria

Turkey issued a border warning to Syria, and warned of tougher rules of military engagement Tuesday, as NATO condemned Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish jet, Al Jazeera reported.

In a speech to parliament in Ankara, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, threatened a military response against Syrian forces approaching the Turkish border.

β€œEvery military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria in a manner that constitutes a security risk or danger would be considered as a threat and would be treated as a military target,” Erdogan said.

β€œFrom here onwards, we warn the Syrian regime not to make any mistakes, not to test Turkey’s decisiveness and wisdom.”

Erdogan’s comments come as NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking after an emergency meeting between alliance members in Brussels, described the downing of the jet on Friday as unacceptable, Reuters reported.

β€œWe … condemn it in the strongest terms,” Rasmussen said. β€œThe security of the alliance is indivisible, we stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity.”

Damascus has maintained that the F-4 Phantom jet, which crashed into the Mediterranean, was shot down inside Syrian airspace – but Ankara insists it was 13 nautical miles away, and has branded the incident an β€œact of aggression.”

While Turkey has said the shooting down of the plane will β€œnot go unpunished”, deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc said the country was not seeking a military response, the BBC reported.

Today’s NATO meeting came at the request of Ankara, and marks only the second time in 63 years that alliance members have met under Article 4 of the NATO charter, under which a country can request consultation if it feels its security is threatened.

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