Turkey escalates security measures on southern border

Turkey speeds up precautionary measures against unwelcome developments on its southern border by implementing advanced monitoring systems at 13 border gates

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Following the decision of  the National Security Council (MGK) specifying “red lines” against parties  in the Syrian civil war,  the Turkish government and Turkish security forces increased security measures along the Syrian border by building an advanced monitoring system, and reinforcing the equipment as well as  personnel in 13 border gates.

MGK decided on June 29 to take precautionary measures along the 110-kilometres long Turkish border line between Jarablus and Azez, tasking the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) for implementation of the measures.

The TAF has been on alert along the border and built a monitoring system in addition to  transferring a number of aircraft and other equipment including tanks and armoured combat vehicles as well as personnel to the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Hatay and Mardin.

Due to its position neighboring a region controlled by the Syrian opposition, the Oncupinar Border Gate in the province of Kilis is considered a critical point for the Turkish side.

Turkey allows controlled trade through the Oncupinar gate as well as the Cilvegozu Border Gate in province of Hatay.

The Mursitpinar Border Gate in the province of Sanliurfa was assigned the transportation of humanitarian aid while Kamisli Border Gate in province of Mardin was closed for any entrance and exit.

Additional reports have emerged indicating that the 2nd Air Force Command in Diyarbakir has been reinforced with the addition of 20 F-16 fighter jets coming from other Turkish provinces.

The heavily-armed jets have been performing aerial reconnaissance non-stop along Turkey’s Iraqi and Syrian borders and are ordered to strike any suspected targets.

The military personnel have also had their vacation time temporarily suspended, according to the reports.

Turkish government announced that the area between Azez and Jarablus is a “red line” for Turkey, which was interpreted in public as an impending military intervention.

Reports state that ISIS recently attacked the area between Azez and Mare in northwestern Syria which is controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) after ISIS lost Tal Abyad to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the militant wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which was then able to join the Kobane and Jazira “cantons,” by capturing the district.

ISIS is already controlling the zone from Jarablus to Mare, laid out between the two Kurdish “cantons” Kobane and Afrin, along the Turkish border.

The PYD is considered by Turkey to be the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK which is recognised as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU, while the ISIS is recognised as terrorist organisation.

TRTWorld and agencies