Turkey sends more troops, tanks to Syria border
07/30/2012 09:50 GMT
ISTANBUL, July 30, 2012 (AFP) - Turkey has sent a convoy of tanks, weapons and ground-to-air missile batteries to the border with Syria, adding to its already fortified defences around the frontier, Anatolia reported Monday.
A convoy of armoured combat vehicles, troops, ammunition and missile systems left southeastern city of Gaziantep to be deployed in Kilis city along the border with Syria, Anatolia said.
Similar reinforcement units also left the border province of Hatay for Islahiye town of Gaziantep, close to the border with Syria.
Turkey has been boosting its military deployments to the border after a Turkish Phantom jet was shot down by Syria on June 22.
Last week Ankara shipped a train convoy carrying several batteries of ground-to-air missiles to several army units deployed on the border, as rebels seized several posts along the 900-kilometre (560-mile) Turkish-Syrian border.
The latest deployments also follow after the Syrian city of Ifrin, near Kilis and Islahiye, fell into the hands of Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian branch of outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to rebel sources.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was a "given" that Turkish troops would pursue fleeing PKK militants inside Syria, warning that Ankara would not hesitate to strike "terrorists."
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