Turkish Armed Forces Press the Button
100,000 troops put on standby, army units moving toward Syrian border
by Claire Berlinski
July 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm
Murat Gurgen, writing for Habertürk, reports that all all units of the Turkish Land Forces’ 2nd Army Command have been put on standby.
I apologize if there are errors in my translation–I’m not sure how some of these military terms are properly rendered in English–but I think this is roughly what he wrote:
Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, responding to Assad’s threat to use chemical weapons and the Kurdish takeover of towns in Northern Syria, has said military preparations are proceeding “full steam ahead.”
The chemical weapons threat and movements by Syrian Kurds close to the PKK have prompted the Turkish Armed Forces to elevate their combat readiness level. The media is showing images of new deployments of military materiel to border cities. [My note: these images are also flooding Twitter and YouTube, for example here.]
PREPARATION OF A BUFFER ZONE
The deployment of troops near the border to counter the threat of chemical weapons took place yesterday along the Sanliurfa-Mardin line. Prime Minister Erdoğan warned the day before that refugee flows might require the establishment of new camps on the Syrian side of the border, forming a buffer zone, without which the security of the region could not be ensured. The Turkish armed forces are preparing to enhance border security and handle the anticipated wave of refugees.
PKK MAY HAVE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
Because the Syrian side of the border has passed under the control of the PYD, which is close to the PKK, there are concerns that the terrorist organization has acquired freedom of movement in the region.
– The 2nd Army Command, headquartered in Malatya, has the second-highest number of troops after the Istanbul-based 1st Army Command, comprising roughly 100,000 soldiers. It is under the control of the Commander of the Land Forces, and includes these affiliated units:
– 4th Corps Command (Ankara)
– 6th Corps Command (Adana)
– 7th Corps Command (Diyarbakir)
– 3rd Tactical Infantry Division (Yüksekova)
– 28th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Mamak)
-58th Artillery Brigade (Polatli)
– 1st Commando Brigade (Talas)
– 2nd Commando Brigade (Bolu)
– 5th Armored Brigade (Gaziantep)
– 39th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Iskenderun)
– 106th Artillery Regiment (Islahiye)
– 34th Border Brigade (Semdinli)
– 16th Mechanized Brigade (Diyarbakir)
– 20th Armored Brigade (Sanliurfa)
– 70th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Mardin)
– 172nd Armored Brigade (Silopi)
– 2nd Motorized Infantry Brigade (Lice)
– 6th Motorized Infantry Brigade (Akcay)
– 3rd Commando Brigade (Siirt)
– 107th Artillery Regiment (Siverek)
Although it is scarcely being reported in the formal Turkish media, on Twitter there have been a flood of reports to the effect that massive clashes have been taking place the southeastern Turkish village of Şemdinli, and that the village has fallen under PKK control. There are also reports that thousands of villagers have fled to escape the bombing, that the district is completely cut off from communication, and that BDP deputies have been forbidden to enter. The Turkish media reports that two Turkish soldiers have been killed and ten wounded. The PKK claims that it has shot down a Sikorsky helicopter and killed 49 Turkish soldiers.
I of course cannot verify any of this.
Turkish troops on the move to the Syrian border July 2012