Turkey changes rules of engagement with Syria
26 June 2012
Turkey has relaxed its rules of engagement for military units operating along the country's border with Syria after the shooting of a Turkish jet by Syrian air defences last week.
While the country was not said to be planning or seeking a military response to the shooting of one of its F-4 Phantom jets on 22 June, the changes to the rules of engagement will allow Turkish units to fire on any Syrian military units approaching the border.
Syria has been criticised over the incident after Turkey claimed the jet was unarmed and had been carrying out a test of radar systems in the Eastern Mediterranean when it was brought down.
"Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria by posing a security risk and danger will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkey's parliament.
"No one should be deceived by our cold-blooded stance. Our acting with common sense should not be perceived as a weakness.
"…We will continue to be a burning torment for those who have adopted a hostile attitude toward Turkey."
Following a meeting earlier today, NATO's North Atlantic Council has condemned the downing of the F-4 jet last week after Turkey demanded a response over the shooting.
In a statement the North Atlantic Council said: "We consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms. It is another example of the Syrian authorities' disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life.
"Our thoughts at this difficult time are with the missing Turkish aircrew, their families and their loved ones. We continue to follow the situation closely and with great concern, and will remain seized of developments on the South-Eastern border of NATO.
"The security of the alliance is indivisible. We stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity."
HAVE YOUR SAY
27 June 2012
Erdogan's speech has distinct echoes of Hitler's on 1 September 1939, seeking to justify the German invasion of Poland:
"This night for the first time Polish regular soldiers fired on our own territory. Since 5:45 a. m. we have been returning the fire... I will continue this struggle, no matter against whom, until the safety of the Reich and its rights are secured."
In both cases, the speaker was attempting to turn the facts on their head.
Stan - York