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Turkey-Syria border almost war zone + Related Articles

Monday, July 23, 2012

Laaska News July  23, 2012
Turkey deploys ground-to-air missiles to Syrian border

Syrian rebels back tracking

Govt helicopters bombing Damascus districts not confirmed

 

Photo – File

According to Turkish media, Turkey has moved another five anti-aircraft missile batteries to its border with Syria.
In a related development, reported by Syrian media, the Syrian army has used helicopter gunships against an estimated 150 Al Qaeda fighters as they tried to cross into Syrian territory from Turkey.
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In the meantime, the Syrian rebel group known as the Free Syrian Army has said it has captured all three of Syria’s main border crossings into Turkey.

Syrian rebels back tracking

After five days of heavy fighting, Syrian government forces have regained control of most of the capital city Damascus. The rebel resistance to their advance is now confined to isolated pockets in the northern and western suburbs.
In Syria’s second city Aleppo, government troops are mopping up rebel resistance in the city centre. In some of the eastern neighbourhoods, however, fierce fighting is raging on.
Reports say some of the people who fled Aleppo on Friday are coming back.

Jul 22, 2012 22:10 Moscow Time

VOR.

Turkey deploys ground-to-air missiles to Syrian border

22 July, 2012, 21:27

A train carrying several batteries of missiles and troop carriers has arrived in the southeast Turkish city of Mardin, the Anatolia state news agency reports. The move comes a month after Syria downed a Turkish jet for violating its airspace.

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The convoy included at least five transport vehicles carrying missiles, according to footage released by the NTV news channel.

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In June, Ankara deployed a number of tanks and military vehicles to the borderline Diyarbakir province, while missile batteries were stationed in the Hatay province to the west of the Syrian border.
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The latest move comes as Syrian rebels reportedly took control of three border posts with Turkey. Some of the fighters believed to be in control of the Bab al-Hawa post claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda, while others identified themselves as members of a group called Shura Taliban.

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The border posts were taken over as part of a rebel offensive against government forces. The brunt of the attack was concentrated on regime strongholds such as Aleppo and Damascus.
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Relations between Turkey and Syria have been worsening since the beginning of the uprising last year. Turkey has been host to a number of meetings between the fragmented Syrian opposition, and Istanbul is the base of the Syrian National Council (SNC), recognized by a number of Western powers as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

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Last month, Syria shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet, saying it had violated its airspace. Damascus also offered an apology for the incident and the subsequent death of the two pilots.
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Turkey, however, said the downing of the jet was an act of aggression on Syria’s part, claiming the plane did not cross the border on purpose, and was shot down without warning after flying back into international space. Ankara then called a NATO meeting over the incident. The alliance condemned the incident, but did not take any serious actions against Syria.

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Following the incident, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government now regarded Syria as a “clear and immanent threat.”

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Govt helicopters bombing Damascus districts not confirmed

22 July, 2012, 19:04

Government tanks and troops have flooded the streets of Damascus, RT sources say. Earlier reports of districts being bombarded by armed helicopters, however, were denied.
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Damascus residents and activists told Reuters that government forces launched an incursion against emboldened rebel forces in several districts of the capital city. RT’s Oksana Boyko reported that the capital city was swarming with tanks.
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Activists reported that elite Fourth Division soldiers were laying siege to the neighborhood of Barzeh and have driven rebel troops out of the Mezze district.
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Fighting also continues to rage on in Syria’s main commercial hub of Aleppo, where Assad forces clashed with rebels from the Free Syria Army (FSA). Rebels said in a video statement that the fighting was part of a campaign to “liberate Aleppo.” Syrian state news agency SANA reports that authorities killed over a dozen “terrorists” in and around the city.

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The government offensive comes after a six-day rebel assault in Damascus, which culminated in the assassination of four top security officials in a bomb attack on Wednesday.
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Additionally, rebel forces occupied border crossing zones near Iraq and Turkey on Saturday.
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President Bashar Assad has refrained from commenting on the latest spate of violence in the country’s capital city, but met with Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, the country’s new Chief of General Staff, on Sunday, according to photos released by Syrian state news agency SANA.

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Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has unanimously voted to extend the UN observer mission for another 30 days past its mandate.
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The international community has thus far been unable to agree on a resolution to the conflict that has wracked the country for the past 17 months. The UK-based group The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the death toll from the conflict is at least 17,000. The UN puts the total at over 15,000.

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Dr. Ali Mohammed, editor in chief of the independent Syria Tribune, believes that the rebel incursions on Assad strongholds are not serious enough to pose a threat to the regime.

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“These are guerrilla fights happening inside inhabited streets and neighborhoods, and this is why they are taking too long to be cleared by the Syrian army,” he told RT.

“But they still, so far don’t pose a serious threat to the Syrian government. They do, on the other hand, pose a serious threat to the Syrian people, who are being forced to flee their homes.”
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Mohammed stressed that the Syrian rebels have been resorting to media manipulation tactics by stating that they had begun an operation to “liberate” Aleppo.

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“To liberate the city from its own people, that’s what they mean, actually,” he noted. “So far, for the past 15 months, Aleppo has shown nothing but great support to the Syrian government and to the president, and this was manifested by huge rallies several times. It is the same media manipulation tactics that they have been using since the beginning.”

RT.

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