Rules Of Engagement ‘Have Changed’: Furious Turkey Mobilizes Tanks, Troops To Syrian Border
By ILAN BEN ZION and HILLARY ZAKEN and AP – “The Turkish military mobilized large numbers of reinforcements from its eastern provinces to the Syrian border on Tuesday, amid rising tension with Damascus, after the downing by Syria of a Turkish Air Force jet on Friday, Turkish media reported.
Large numbers of Turkish troops — including at least 15 long-range artillery pieces and tanks – moved to the Syrian frontier from the eastern city of Diyarbakir. A video published by the Turkish Cihan News Agency showed Turkish tanks being transported by carrier trucks toward the frontier.
The mobilization followed statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Turkish military will respond to any future violation of its border by Syrian military elements.
‘As awe-inspiring as Turkey’s friendship is, Turkey’s wrath is equally awe-inspiring,’ Erdogan told the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.
‘The rules of engagement of the Turkish Armed Forces have changed,’ Erdogan said. ‘Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria posing a security risk and danger will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target.’
Erdogan closed his remarks with an especially harsh condemnation of Syrian President Bashar Assad: ‘Turkey and the Turkish people will continue to provide all support until the people of Syria have been saved from this tyrannical, murderous, bloody dictator and his gang.’” Read more.
Assad Declares Syria At War As Battle Now Reaches Damascus - “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on Tuesday that his country was at war and ordered his new government to spare no effort to achieve victory, as the worst fighting of the 16-month conflict reached the outskirts of the capital… The declaration that Syria is at war marks a change of rhetoric from Assad, who had long dismissed the uprising against him as the work of scattered militants funded from abroad. ‘We live in a real state of war from all angles,’ Assad told a cabinet he appointed on Tuesday in a speech broadcast on state television.” Read more.