Turkey and Israel have launched separate military maneuvers near Syria, which has been battling foreign-sponsored terrorism for more than two years. The 10-day Yildirim-2013 Mobilization Exercises began on Monday in the southern province of Adana near the Syrian border and would wrap up on May 15, according to a statement issued by the Turkish General Staff. The Turkish military says the drills aim to test its preparedness for battle and coordination with government ministries at a time of mobilization and war. Meanwhile, Israeli troops participated in military exercises in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, on Monday. A former director of Israel’s security service says the regime has to make full preparations for a possible war anytime. Israel has also deployed two Iron Dome missiles near the Lebanese border. The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. The Syrian
government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals. In an interview recently broadcast on Turkish television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades. “If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control… the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he added.