Turkey deploys anti-aircraft guns at Syria border
Ankara: Turkey deployed anti-aircraft guns and other weapons alongside its border with Syria, state television reported on Thursday, days after the downing of a Turkish military jet by Syrian forces heightened the tensions between the two countries.
A small convoy of military trucks, towing anti-aircraft guns, entered into a military base near the border town of Yayladagi, TRT television footage showed. The television said several anti-aircraft guns have also been deployed elsewhere alongside the border.
Turkey has warned Syria to keep its troops away from the countries' troubled border or risk an armed response.
A Syrian minister said yesterday his country's forces may have mistaken the Turkish plane they shot down for an Israeli one.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi was quoted as telling Turkish news channel A Haber in a telephone interview yesterday that his country did "not want a crisis between Turkey and Syria”.
Al-Zoebi said Turkish and Israeli fighter jets were mostly US-made, which may have led the Syrian forces to mistake it for an Israeli jet.
The downing of the jet has aggravated tense ties between the two neighbours.
Turkey has repeatedly called on Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down as 33,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey, fleeing a government crackdown on a popular uprising.
The country is also hosting civilian opposition groups as well as members of the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting against the Syrian regime.