Friday Jul 19, 201305:29 PM GMT
Turkey beefs up military presence near Syrian border
Turkish soldiers stand guard on the Turkish-Syrian border. (File photo)
Turkish soldiers stand guard on the Turkish-Syrian border. (File photo)
Turkey has deployed military unites along its border with Syria following clashes between a Syrian Kurdish armed party and al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front, a new report says.


The Friday report by Turkish daily, Hurriyet, said that Turkish F-16 jets and unmanned aerial vehicles have been scrambled from southeastern Turkey for patrolling over the border.

The report comes as People's Defense Units, the militant wing of the Democratic Union Party, an affiliate of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), and al-Nusra Front have been engaged in a fight for three days in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, near the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar in the province of Sanliurfa.

The clashes broke out after al-Nusra Front militants attacked a convoy of Kurdish female fighters.

The Kurds have been trying to consolidate their control over the predominantly Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain, which is of strategic importance because of its proximity to Turkey.

On May 2, one Turkish border guard was killed and six others were wounded in a clash with foreign-sponsored militants at the Syrian border.

Since the beginning of unrest in Syria, Turkey has conducted several war games near its border with Syria and has reinforced its border troops with tanks, missile launchers and armored combat vehicles.

Ankara has also deployed new air defense systems along its border with Syria.

Turkey has as well set up a military-security base at Sazgin Airport in Qazi Antep Province, which is 180 kilometers away from the Syrian city of Aleppo. Military transportation planes, air defense systems and radar equipment have been deployed to the base.

The crisis that erupted in Syria over two years ago has left many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, dead.

PG/SS
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