- Turkish Navy put on high alert!
Turkey has put its naval taskforce in the Mediterranean on high alert and sent missile-carrying frigates and motor boats to Aksaz, Iskenderun, Mersin, Antalya and other naval bases, the Hurriyet newspaper reports. Earlier, a higher state of alert was announced in the Air Force.
The move came amid a fresh escalation of tension in the Turkish-Syrian relations. A few days ago, Turkey scrambled its jet fighters to force a Damascus-bound Syrian passenger plane to land in Ankara. It cited intelligence reports that the plane might be carrying suspicious cargo. But no cargo prohibited by international conventions was found aboard. Syria retaliated for the incident by shutting its airspace for Turkish planes.
Syria bans Turkey civilian flights over its territory
Syria has closed its airspace to Turkish passenger flights.
The move comes just days after Turkey intercepted a Syrian flight, claiming the plane was carrying Russian-made munitions for the Syrian army. Syria’s foreign ministry announced on state TV that that the ban would take effect from midnight on Saturday.
Syria’s foreign ministry said the decision to ban Turkish flights in its airspace was in retaliation for a similar move from Ankara. The Turkish authorities insist they had not closed their country’s airspace to Syrian planes but promised to intercept suspect airliners in future.
Voice of Russia, RIA, BBC
Syria-Turkish conflict threatens to run out of control
The Syrian fighting threatens to cross the Turkish border and to spread into a wider regional conflict. In the Syrian settlement of Azmarin on the border with Turkey the rebels seized a tank and opened fire at units of the Syrian governmental troops.
The army attacked the rebels’ positions from air. Turkey scrambled two of its jet fighters to prevent a possible violation of the frontier by Syrian planes. In order not to provoke an incident the Syrian aviation left the air space near the borderline.
Although this flash of tension did not cause the violation of the Syrian border by the Turkish aviation and Syrian shells exploding on the Turkish territory, the possibility of a “front crash” is growing. Pulling of the Turkish troops on the Syrian border is obviously instigating tough response from Syria. Only in the last two days 60 units of armor and artillery were deployed in the area. There are 250 tanks which are ready to open fire and 25 F-16 jet fighters that are ready to take off.