Tensions in the Middle East rose as Turkey announced it would hold military exercises on the Syrian border. Ankara on Wednesday announced it had planned a 10 day mobilization exercise in the southern province of Hatay along the Syrian border. The proposal puts Turkey at odds with Assad’s regime which sees this as an attempt to aid rebels and protestors against Syrian government.
NATO’s European commander Gen James Staviris also visited Ankara last month to discuss plans of the Turkish military exercise which would include the 39th mechanized infantry brigade and 730 reserve soldiers which can then be used for mobilization across the border.
Syria has warned Turkey and more particularly Israel of severe punishment as tensions escalate. Ankara has begun the process of freezing Assad family members’ bank accounts and assets whose worth is estimated at half a billion dollars.