(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Turkey is deploying more troops and military equipment along its border with Syria amid escalating tension over Syria’s downing of a Turkish fighter jet.
The Turkish troops started heading to the border area on Saturday, after receiving their marching orders.
On Tuesday, four days after the Syrian air defense shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter jet in Syrian airspace, Ankara positioned a large number of tanks, anti-aircraft guns, and other armored vehicles along the border, AP reported.
Additional troops were also deployed to the border on Tuesday, hours after Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the Turkish armed forces would respond to any Syrian encroachment on the border.
"Every military element from Syria at the Turkish border that forms a security risk and danger will be assessed as a threat and be treated as a military target," Erdogan said.
On June 22, Syria said a Turkish fighter jet was downed in Syrian territorial waters west of the village of Om al-Tuyour in Lattakia province, 10 kilometers from the beach.
At a press conference in Damascus on June 24, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said that the Turkish warplane “violated Syrian airspace, and in turn Syrian air defenses fired back and the plane crashed inside Syrian territorial waters.”
On the same day, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, “According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria.”