Turkish troops (file photo)
Source: Press TV
The Turkish military has called up recently retired officers in anticipation of a massive influx of Syrian refugees along its border with Syria.
Veterans that have retired from the military over the past five years are to be deployed in border provinces, the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported on Thursday.
More personnel have already been sent to bases and strategically important outposts, with Turkish officials stating that “17,000 Syrians are on their way,” fleeing from destabilized regions of their country.
There are already over 7,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, and no one knows what might happen if the trend continues, Turkish officials say.
The Turkish government has been preparing for the massive entry of the refugees for over two months and has established a crisis coordination center that is continuously monitoring the Syria-Turkey border.
Turkey has also established an animal quarantine center to deal with any animals brought over the border by the Syrian refugees.
In addition, Turkish officials have expressed concern about the possibility of a NATO intervention in Syria, saying such a move would hurt Turkey the most and could spark a serious backlash in the Islamic world.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.
Hundreds of people have been killed in protest rallies that turned into armed clashes between alleged protesters and state security forces and in organized attacks by armed gangs targeting the Syrian security forces.
Syrian state TV has broadcast reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by people describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.