Turkish forces on alert to retaliate against Syrian threat: FM

Turkish forces on alert to retaliate against Syrian threat: FM
# 28 August 2013 23:56 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Turkish armed forces will retaliate against threats coming from Syria in case Western allies wage a military action against Syrian government, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"We are now at a more alert position... Turkey will take whatever measures necessary within the framework of its own strategic interests," said Davutoglu, making clear that "all options" remained available for a possible international action.

Turkey expects a sort of action against Syrian government that would not cause further "uncertainty" in the war-ravaged country, the minister said.

"We are in an effort to punish in most effective way the use of chemical weapons, so that it won't repeat," Davutoglu told reporters.

Turkey's intelligence organization also has evidences about Syrian administration's alleged use of "chemical weapons" in Damascus suburbs, the top Turkish diplomat noted, adding that Turkey has shared those information with counterparts in the international community.

Local media said Turkey is unlikely to offer combat forces in Syria, but the U.S. air base in the southern Incirlik district could be used as a logistics supplier in case of a military intervention in Syria.

Last week, Syrian opposition claimed that at least 1,300 people were killed in a chemical weapon attack staged by the government forces against the Ghouta neighborhood near Damascus, an allegation that the Syrian administration has strongly denied.

Turkey, once an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but now a leading voice urging his ouster, shelters more than 200,000 Syrian refugees and has reportedly provided Syrian rebel leaders with sanctuary.