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No Syria-related US military presence in Turkey: Turkish army
by Staff Writers
Ankara (AFP) Oct 27, 2012

Syria army says will fight back against rebel violations
Damascus (AFP) Oct 27, 2012 - The Syrian army on Saturday accused rebels of committing increasing violations of a failed truce proposed for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday and vowed to fight back.

"For the second day, terrorist groups continued to flagrantly violate the ceasefire announced and respected by the army command," the military said in a statement on state television.

"The army will continue to track this increase of violations... and fight back against these criminal acts."

Foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Maqdisi said the army was committed to the truce, blaming rebels for provoking a response.

"The Syrian government is still completely committed to stopping military operations," Maqdisi told AFP in an email.

"But the violations that were committed were a consequence of attacks staged mostly by (rebel) groups that from the beginning refused the ceasefire, as shown by their official statements," he added.

The Syrian authorities have informed the UN Security Council of truce violations, he said. "We have documented the violations and sent messages to the UN Security Council," said Maqdisi.

The United States has not deployed any military personnel or units in Turkey in connection with the crisis in Syria, the Turkish army said in a statement Saturday.

The headquarters of the Turkish armed forces denied press reports that US military personnel had been sent to the country following increasing tension along its border with Syria.

"There are neither military personnel nor units deployed in Turkey beyond those at the base at Incirlik (in the southern province of Adana) and those at Kurecik (in the southeastern province of Malatya, home to a NATO radar installation)and those at the American embassy in Ankara," the statement said.

In recent days Turkish media have reported remarks attributed to US Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, commander of the US army in Europe, referring to the dispatch of an American contingent to Turkey as part of a strategy of sharing and pooling information between the two countries, both NATO members.

Turkey is backing the insurgents in Syria.

At the start of October, a Syrian mortar bomb killed five Turkish nationals at a village in the southeast of the country near the border. Since then the Turkish forces have riposted each time a mortar bomb or shell has been from Syrian soil.


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