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Turkey to respond to all violations on Syrian border: PM

June 26, 2012 - Ankara

Turkey will consider every military approaching towards the Turkish border from Syria as a security risk and threat, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

Erdogan made the remarks at a group meeting of his Justice and Development (AK) Party in the Turkish parliament on Tuesday. He stressed that Turkey will never tolerate any security risks made up by the Syrian regime along the border, or leave unanswered.

The move came after the Turkish military jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last Friday after being shot down by Syria.

Erdogan also affirmed that the Turkish plane was fired at international airspace, not in the Syrian territorial waters, without warning, although Syria insisted that the jet violated Syrian airspace.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also updated its rules that every military element approaching towards Turkish border from Syria that may pose a security risk and danger will be considered a threat and a military target to be responded.

The incident heightened tensions between two countries that had been allies before Syria's 15-month unrest.

With the second biggest army in NATO, Turkey has been one of the current Syrian administration's most ardent critics over its crackdown on protestors. Erdogan, previously a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly called in recent months for the Syrian leader to step down.

So far, more than 30,000 Syrian refugees have entered Turkey, which also gives shelter to the rebel Free Syria Army (FSA) and Syrian National Council based in Istanbul. (Xinhua-ANI)


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