Turkey has deployed ground-to-air missiles on its border with Syria, a report says. According to a Sunday report by the Turkish Anadolu Agency, Ankara also deployed troop carriers along the border with Syria. A train convoy transporting several missile batteries arrived in the southeastern province of Mardin on Sunday. The report comes at a time when relations between Ankara and Damascus have deteriorated.
On June 22, Syria said its air defense forces shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom in the Syrian airspace “according to the laws that govern such situations.” The aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told TRT television on June 24, “According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria.” However, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said in a press conference in Damascus a day later that the Turkish warplane “violated Syrian airspace, and in turn Syrian air defenses fired back and the plane crashed inside Syrian territorial waters.”
On June 26, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an address to the parliament that Ankara would retaliate “with determination” and take the “necessary steps by determining the time, place and method by itself.”The Turkish Hurriyet Daily reported on the same day that Ankara had deployed a “large number of military vehicles to the Syrian border,” including “15 armored tanks, in addition to long-distance guns and other military vehicles.” Turkish state media also reported on June 28 that Ankara had sent a convoy of about 30 military vehicles, including trucks loaded with missile batteries, to the Syrian border.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Turkish Cumhuriyet daily in an interview in early July that Turkey “has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”HSN/JR/AZ