Turkey ups stakes with Syria

Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Turkish military forces would issue a strong response should Syrian forces allow internal conflict to spill over the border, a Turkish general said.

The Turkish Parliament voted last week to allow a military response to a Syrian mortar strike across the border that left five Turkish civilians dead. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the measure that states the crisis in Syria is a threat to national security, though lawmakers said it wasn't a declaration of war.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel said his forces reserved the right to respond accordingly to any security violations in his country.

"We responded but if it continues we will respond with greater force," he was quoted by Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman as saying.

His statement comes as NATO leaders meet in Brussels. The alliance last week described the Syrian border attack as "a clear and present danger to the security of one of its allies."

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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