Turkey has put its naval taskforce in the Mediterranean on high alert and sent missile-carrying frigates and motor boats to Aksaz, Iskenderun, Mersin, Antalya and other naval bases, the Hurriyet newspaper reports.
Earlier, a higher state of alert was announced in the Air Force. The move came amid a fresh escalation of tension in the Turkish-Syrian relations. A few days ago, Turkey scrambled its jet fighters to force a Damascus-bound Syrian passenger plane to land in Ankara.
It cited intelligence reports that the plane might be carrying suspicious cargo. But no cargo prohibited by international conventions was found aboard. Syria retaliated for the incident by shutting its airspace for Turkish planes.
The move comes just days after Turkey intercepted a Syrian flight, claiming the plane was carrying Russian-made munitions for the Syrian army. Syria’s foreign ministry announced on state TV that that the ban would take effect from midnight on Saturday.
Syria’s foreign ministry said the decision to ban Turkish flights in its airspace was in retaliation for a similar move from Ankara. The Turkish authorities insist they had not closed their country’s airspace to Syrian planes but promised to intercept suspect airliners in future.