On Tuesday, Turkey deployed a number of tanks to their border with Syria, terming the nation a “clear and present threat” to the Turkish government’s security and vowing to shoot any Syrian troops perceived as “too close” to the border.
The tensions haven’t cooled since then, and Syria has now sent some 170 tanks to the Turkish border, just northwest of Aleppo, in an effort to fortify the area against a possible Turkish incursion. Free Syrian Army (FSA) leadership speculated that the tanks were planning to attack rebels in the area, but it doesn’t seem to be about them.
Rather, since Syria’s downing of a Turkish warplane that violated its airspace, the two nations seem to be on a collision course, and Turkey has been pressing for NATO to endorse the idea that the shootdown was a violation of their “sovereignty” and an attack on all of NATO.
Despite the soaring tensions, US Gen. Martin Dempsey downplayed the seriousness of the situation, praising Turkey’s “measured” response to what he called a “hostile act” by Syria.