Turkey has deployed anti-aircraft missiles along its border with Syria days after one of its warplanes was shot down by Syrian forces.
An initial convoy of 30 military vehicles was spotted moving to bases near the border where the jet incident took place last week, reported Reuters. The plane went down at sea after it was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft weapons. Its pilots are still missing.
“I can confirm there are troops being deployed along the border in Hatay province. Turkey is taking precautions after its jet was shot down,” an unnamed Turkish official told Reuters.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Syria is a “clear and present threat,” adding that any military forces near the border are considered a potential target, the BBC said.
Syria defended shooting the plane down and accused Turkey of violating its sovereignty. Syria said anti-aircraft fire brought the plane down; however, Turkey said heat-seeking missiles shot the plane down out in international airspace.
Turkey requested a NATO meeting after its F-4 fighter jet was shot down. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned Syria not to shoot down any other alliance planes, but did not mention what concrete action would be taken now or in the event of a future attack.
The move comes as SANA, the Syrian state news agency, said that an explosion hit a parking lot at the Palace of Justice in Damascus, the capital, on Thursday, blaming the attack on terrorists.
The blast comes a day after a pro-regime television station was blown up near the capital, killing at least seven.
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