Several high - ranking Turkish Army officers have landed in the southern province of Hatay and inspected the country’s border with Syria as the specter of a new US war in the Middle East rises.
The delegation, headed by the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Land Forces Command, Lieutenant General Ihsan Uyar, flew over the border posts in Guvecci and Asagipulluyazi in helicopters on Saturday, the Dogan News Agency reported. The delegation also visited the Cilvegozu border gate near the town of Reyhanli. On Friday, Turkish Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel said that the armed forces were not worried about the prospect of a US military offensive in Syria. "We have made the necessary preparations," he stated. The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused President Bashar al-Assad’s government of having launched a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation. On Saturday, US President Barack Obama said he has decided that Washington must take military action against the Syrian government, which would mean a unilateral military strike without a UN mandate. Obama said that despite having made up his mind, he will take the case to US Congress. But he added that he is prepared to order military action against the Syrian government at any time. On Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the planned US airstrikes against Syria were not enough and pushed for a broader military offensive that would overthrow the government of Assad. "A limited operation cannot be satisfactory for us," Erdogan said. "An intervention akin to that decided for Kosovo must be launched. An operation of one or two days will not be enough. The goal should be to force the regime out," he added.