November 26, 2015 - MIDDLE EAST - Turkey has moved 20 tanks to her border with Syria as tensions with Russia continue.
Military sources from Turkey said the tanks were moved by rail to an armored brigade at the western border with Syria. Reports also say 18 fighter jets were sent on a patrol exercise near the border.
A military source told Turkey’s Anadolu agency: "Accompanied by police and gendarmes, 20 tanks were sent by rail from Turkey’s western provinces by railway to Gaziantep in the south of the country, and then redirected to the Syrian border."
Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday morning close to the Syrian border leading to a crisis between the two countries. Russia yesterday started bombing Syrian rebels in the area close to where its fighter jets was shot down.
At least 12 air strikes hit Latakia's northern countryside, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Turkmen commander said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean were also hitting the area, as well as heavy artillery shelling. It comes one day after a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey causing a crisis between the two countries.
Hassan Haj Ali, the head of Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a rebel group operating in western Syria, also said there were fierce battles in the area, with Russian aircraft supporting pro-government forces. - Standard Media.
Russia bombards Syrian rebels near site of downed Russian jetRussian forces launched a heavy bombardment against insurgent-held areas in Syria's Latakia province on Wednesday, near where a Russian warplane had been shot down by Turkey the day before, rebels and a monitoring group said.
At least 12 air strikes hit Latakia's northern countryside as pro-government forces clashed with fighters from al Qaeda's Nusra Front and Turkmen insurgents in the Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman areas, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Turkmen commander said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean were also hitting the area, as well as heavy artillery shelling.
Hassan Haj Ali, the head of Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a rebel group operating in western Syria, also said there were fierce battles in the area, with Russian aircraft supporting pro-government forces.
Turkey on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane that it said had entered Turkish airspace, something denied by Moscow.
It crashed in the Jabal Turkman area, the Observatory said.
Both pilots bailed out. The Russian Defence Ministry said one had been shot dead from the ground as he parachuted down, but that one was safe and had returned to Russia's air base in western Syria.
However, a deputy commander of rebel Turkmen forces in Syria said on Tuesday that his men had shot both pilots dead as they parachuted down.
The incident was one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes for half a century between Russia and a NATO member country.
A Turkish military source said Turkish troops on the border were on alert on Wednesday after the bombardment began.
Russia began intervening in the Syrian civil war on Sept. 30 in support of President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are fighting insurgents backed by regional powers including Turkey.
The Russian air raids, launched ostensibly to target Islamic State, have mostly hit other, foreign-backed rebel groups, the United States says.
There have been strikes for several weeks in Latakia province, whose capital of the same name is Assad's coastal stronghold, but the Observatory said Wednesday's bombardments were particularly heavy. - Yahoo.
Putin: Turkey deliberately leading relations with Russia 'into a gridlock'Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Turkey of intentionally bringing relations with Russia into a ‘gridlock’ following the incident with the downed Russian bomber in Syria.
The Turkish government has made no steps towards clearing up the situation with Russia after the Tuesday incident at the Syrian-Turkish border. The country has neither offered any compensation nor expressed any apologies over the death of the Russian pilot, thus apparently deliberately dampening relations with Moscow, Putin stressed in his speech at the presentation of foreign ambassadors’ letters of credence in the Kremlin on Thursday.
WATCH: ‘We still haven’t received a clear apology from Turkey on Su-24 downing’ - Putin.
“We have still not heard any comprehensible apologies from the Turkish political leaders or any offers to compensate for the damage caused or promises to punish the criminals for their crime,” Russian president said.
“One gets the impression that the Turkish leaders are deliberately leading Russian-Turkish relations into a gridlock – and we are sorry to see this,” he added.
Vladimir Putin also emphasized that Turkey’s air forces hitting the Russian plane contradicted “common sense and international law [as] the plane was shot down over Syrian territory” and once again called the incident “a stab in the back.”
“I have to say that we find absolutely inexplicable the treacherous stabs in our back dealt by those we thought to be our partners and allies in the anti-terrorist struggle,” he said referring to the downing of the Russian bomber by a Turkish fighter jet.
At the same time, the Russian president expressed hope that a broad coalition could still be formed in order to counter the terrorist threat.
“I expect a truly broad international anti-terrorist coalition to be formed that would act in a coordinated fashion, as a powerful force and would, in particular, support the actions of the Russian troops that are carrying out successful military operations against terrorist groups in Syria,” Putin said in his speech.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country would not apologize for downing the Russian bomber.
“I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us,” he told CNN in an interview stressing that “those, who violated our airspace, are the ones who need to apologize” apparently referring to Russia. - RT.