Turkey’s army staged tank exercises near the Syrian border today, media reports said, in a move highlighting Ankara’s unease about security on the frontier as the conflict widens on the other side of its southern border.
The exercises were held after a series of Turkish military deployments to the area prompted by the spiraling violence in the 17-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The reports could not immediately be confirmed.
Some 25 tanks from the Mardin 70th Mechanised Brigade took part in the exercises, which were overseen by commanders in the Nusaybin district of Mardin province, just 2 km from the Syrian border, Doğan News Agency (DHA) said.
The Syrian city of Qamishli is immediately across the border from Nusaybin. Ankara is concerned about reports that a Kurdish group linked to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is exerting control in Kurdish areas of northern Syria.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.