Turkey Braces For Syrian Refugee Crisis
August 11, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 11 (UPI) — The Turkish military said it recalled retired officers to serve at border outposts along the Syrian border in anticipation of a massive influx of refugees.
The Turkish General Staff announced that it sent duty summons to military officers who have retired within the last five years. Most of them were summoned to serve at stations near the Syrian border, Turkish daily newspaper Today’s Zaman reports.
Turkish officials after meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad expressed concern over the level of violence in the country. Ankara had welcomed a move by the Syrian military to pull forces from Hama but noted Thursday the Syrian military stormed a town near the border with Turkey.
Ankara said it was worried the situation might be exacerbated by a NATO intervention in Syria. The number of refugees fleeing into Turkey had reached 11,000.
The U.N. Security Council has been unable to reach a consensus on a formal resolution condemning Damascus. Opponents to a resolution worry it may lead to a protracted military conflict like the one in Libya, which shows few signs of a military breakthrough six months after the operation began.
Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, said in a statement that Washington was concerned not only by the refugee situation but also about reports that foreign arms were flowing into Syria.
“Regimes that meet peaceful and legitimate demands with tanks, guns, and clubs will themselves lose all legitimacy,” she added.