Turkish Air Forces conduct exercise on defense of Süleyman ?ah tomb
Turkish Air Forces conducted an air military drill on the defense of a tomb of grandfather of Ottoman Empire’s founder in northern Syria, highlighting the army’s resolve to respond to any military attack on a land considered as the Turkish territory.
Turkish air force commander also inspected from the air Turkish military units on Syrian and Iraqi border, primary reinforcement teams tasked with guarding the tomb, as well as air exercise both during a day and at night, the army said in a statement on Monday.
The statement said Air Force Commander Gen. Ak?n Öztürk inspected the military readiness of the units “very close” to the Syrian and Iraqi border with nearly 2-hour flight on Oct. 21. It said the general left Ankara with F-16D military plane and inspected defense capabilities of nearly 20 land and air defense units stationed on the Iraqi and Syrian border.
Öztürk then landed in Diyarbak?r to meet with Combat Forces Deputy Commander and United Air Campaign Center Commander Gen. H.Hüseyin Demiraslan in his office. The air force commander also flew at night to inspect close air support to military border posts in cases of urgent needs such as attacks as well as joint operation drill conducted on the defense of the Süleyman ?ah Sayg? tomb in northern Syria.
Öztürk also talked to a commander on duty in the tomb with a walkie-talkie and extended the army’s “immediate” support in cases of a “need.” The general described the drill and the military readiness of the units as a “success.”
A few dozen Turkish soldiers are guarding the tomb, which is considered Turkish territory under a 1921 Franco-Turkish agreement.
President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an also earlier vowed retaliation if the Süleyman ?ah tomb, the burial place of the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, came under attack. Despite media reports, he dismissed claims that the tomb, 20 miles from the Turkish border, is surrounded by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Source: October 27, 2014, Monday/ 19:11:27/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM / ISTANBUL