Turkey sends war ships to Mediterranean

Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:22 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Turkish military said it was reinforcing its naval assets in the Mediterranean following a Syrian attack across the border that left five civilians dead.

Turkish news agency Hurriyet reported Friday that "a number of warships and submarines" were deployed to the Mediterranean Sea from military bases in the Turkish north. The report described the vessels as loaded with cargo labeled "war load."

The majority of the members of the Turkish Parliament voted Thursday to allow a military response to the Syrian mortar strike early this week. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan signed the measure that states the ongoing crisis in Syria is a threat to national security, though lawmakers said it wasn't a declaration of war.

Turkey is a member of NATO. In a statement Thursday, NATO described the Syrian attack as a "flagrant breach of international law and a clear and present danger to the security of one of its allies."

Pentagon spokesman George Little said Washington was outraged over the incident.

"It is absolutely inappropriate, wrong and deplorable for the Syrian regime to conduct this kind of activity along the border, which has led to the loss of life of Turkish civilians," he said.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the attack, saying the incident underscores the "grave impact" that the Syrian civil war is having on the region.

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