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Publish Date : Wednesday 5 October 2011 - 09:03
Turkish Army to maneuver near Syria
Turkish Army to maneuver near Syria
Islam Times - The Turkish Army is set to conduct a military maneuver near the common border with Syria amid heightened tension in the southern neighbor.
Islam Times reports from AFP: "Yildirim (Lightning)-2011 mobilization exercise, which is one of the planned exercises for the year 2011, will be performed in (the town of) Iskenderun, Hatay province between October 5-13," citing a statement issued by the Army on Tuesday.

Ankara says the drill helps test the system aiding the forces' mobilization as well as the efficiency of communication between the Armed Forces and the public institutions. Forty military vehicles and 730 stand-by personnel will participate in the exercise.

There were no immediate comments from Syria, which has often blamed the unrest, it has been facing since March, on the flow of arms from the Turkey.

The unrest has seen organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country. Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed in the tension.

Damascus says that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to South Africa that he would back a draft resolution proposed by European states at the UN Security Council against Syria.

"The draft resolution before the council today is in the nature of sending a warning. We hope there will a positive outcome of this vote and that there will then be further discussions about whatever further steps need to be taken," he said in Pretoria.

In September, the Syria Steps news website said Syrian cyber specialists had uncovered an anti-Damascus agreement struck between Turkey and France.

In line with the deal, Turkey would facilitate implementation of France's strategic plans in the Middle East, especially in Syria, Israel, and Lebanon.

The report noted that, in line with the accord, Ankara would help deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by reinforcing the Syrian opposition among other things. Paris would instead ease Turkey's accession to the European Union before the end of 2012.
Story Code: 103919