Turkey orders buildup on Syrian border, changes rules of engagement

ANKARA — The Turkish military has been ordered to prepare for a
shooting war along the border with Syria.

The government said it was prepared for a border war with Syria in wake
of the downing of a Turkish Air Force fighter-jet.

Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said he revised the rules of engagement for the Turkish military amid its buildup along the Syrian border.

The rules of engagement of the Turkish armed forces have changed,
Erdogan said. “Any risk posed by Syria on the Turkish border, any military element that could pose a threat, will be considered a threat and treated as a military target.

Erdogan has also ordered a military buildup along Turkey’s 900-kilometer border with Syria. Since June 26, dozens of U.S.-origin M-60A3 main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery batteries have amassed along Turkey’s southeastern border.

“As Turkey, the Turkish nation, we have no intention of attacking
[Syria],” Erdogan said on June 27. “We don’t have any hostile attitude
toward any country.”

“From now on, the rules of the game change,” an official said.
The Turkish military has declared 13 areas along the border with Syria
as closed zones. A government statement said military exercises would be
held in these areas from July 6 until Oct. 6.

“If Syria keeps its soldiers off the Turkish border so as not to
increase the tension, then de facto buffer zones through the border will be
inevitable,” Turkish analyst Nihat Ali Ozcan wrote in the Hurriyet daily on
June 28.

“Moreover, a buffer zone with Turkey behind it will be a strategic
problem for the Assad regime because it may turn out to be a safe haven for
insurgents. If Assad decides otherwise and chooses to be active along the
border, he will have to deal with the constant probability of conflict.”

Full article: Turkey orders buildup on Syrian border, changes rules of engagement (World Tribune)

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