The Turkish military appears to have amassed a large number of tanks on its side of the border with Syria near the Bab al-Salama crossing in images posted online by a local photojournalist on Thursday.
This is “the first time the area near the border crossing has witnessed such a large number of military tanks,” Riaad Alkahteeb, the photojournalist at the Turkish-Syrian border who posted the pictures, told Syria Direct on Thursday, estimating that 60 tanks had arrived.
The images show tanks and military transport vehicles arranged in lines in a large paved lot on the other side of Syria’s Aleppo province, accompanied by Turkish soldiers and others who appear to be civilian bystanders.
“Reinforcements have been coming to most of the points along the border since a meeting of the Turkish National Security [Council]” on Monday, Alkahteeb said.
The official Turkish channel TRT also published images of the tanks en route to Kilis province on Wednesday, saying they were military reinforcements heading for Turkish positions at the Syrian border.
A statement by the Turkish National Security Council after Monday’s meeting gave few details about what was discussed or what decisions were made, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted by Reuters on Monday as saying that “We will take the necessary measures to reduce the risks related to cross-border security.”
Photo courtesy of Riaad Alkahteeb