Turkey reinforces its borders only days before the scheduled conference of world leaders in Geneva this weekend. As death and destruction in Syria mounts, the country fears they will be forced to retaliate should violence in the area make its way across the border. Additional troops and several anti-aircraft weapons have been moved into place in order to contend with any potential threats that could arise in the future.
The reinforcements were a direct result of Syria’s attack on a Turkish fighter jet last Friday, prompting NATO to announce that they fully intend to defend Turkey if need be. However, the organization did state that the actions the country is currently taking to secure its border “are measures they are taking themselves”.
Problems between the nations have increased as of late following the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a once-peaceful demonstration that has recently turned very bloody. An explosion at the Justice Palace in Damascus on Thursday only further illustrates the level of devastation currently taking place within the country.
Following the attack on the fighter jet, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that they had updated their rules of engagement to deal with such issues. Should any Syrian military forces approach the border that separates the territories, Turkey will treat them as a direct threat.
Despite the potential danger lurking just beyond the horizon, Turkey has not asked NATO for any alliance action. According to an anonymous official, “What they wanted was to make sure that NATO is with them if it comes to defense of their territory. We have plans for the defense of Turkey. They exist; they have long existed.”
In an effort to express just how serious they were about the recent attack, Turkish officials issued a warning to Syria, stating that the country “will act with determination to use all its rights within the international law against this hostile act.” To illustrate their point, state news outlets showed footage of military vehicles and anti-aircraft weaponry amassing near the border.