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Turkey vows 'any measures' against Syria threats

Turkey is ready to take any measures, including cross-border military operations into war-torn Syria, against threats to its national security, its foreign minister warned Wednesday. "The Turkish republic is a powerful state and never hesitates to take any measures to protect its national security if need be," Ahmet Davutoglu told AFP in an exclusive interview. "Any group in Syria, or the regime, should not test Turkey's determination," said the minister, speaking in his central home province of Konya.

Turkey vows 'any measures' against Syria threats

Turkey is ready to take any measures, including cross-border military operations into war-torn Syria, against threats to its national security, its foreign minister warned Wednesday. "The Turkish republic is a powerful state and never hesitates to take any measures to protect its national security if need be," Ahmet Davutoglu told AFP in an exclusive interview. "Any group in Syria, or the regime, should not test Turkey's determination," said the minister, speaking in his central home province of Konya.

Turkey warns Syria of 'heavy' response if its airspace violated

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday congratulated the military for downing a Syrian warplane near its border and warned of a "heavy" response if its airspace was violated. "Our response from now will be heavy if you violate our airspace," Erdogan said during an election rally, referring to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. "I congratulate the chief of general staff, the armed forces and those honourable pilots... I congratulate our air forces," said the premier.

Turkey warns Syria of 'heavy' response if its airspace violated

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday congratulated the military for downing a Syrian warplane near its border and warned of a "heavy" response if its airspace was violated. "Our response from now will be heavy if you violate our airspace," Erdogan said during an election rally, addressing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. "I congratulate the chief of general staff, the armed forces and those honourable pilots... I congratulate our air forces," said the premier.

Turkey warns Syria of 'heavy' response if its airspace violated

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday congratulated the military for downing a Syrian warplane near its border and warned of a "heavy" response if its airspace was violated. "Our response from now will be heavy if you violate our airspace," Erdogan said during an election rally, addressing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. "I congratulate the chief of general staff, the armed forces and those honourable pilots... I congratulate our air forces," said the premier.

Aid officials frustrated as Syria convoy halted on second day

By Dasha Afanasieva ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The first U.N. convoy carrying aid from Turkey into Syria was halted on Friday, less than 24 hours after the long-awaited humanitarian mission began, with one aid official blaming "administrative hurdles" thrown up by the Syrian government. The convoy only became possible last month after the U.N. Security Council reached a rare moment of unity on Syria, calling on all sides to provide humanitarian access.

Syria army advances bolstered by Hezbollah, rebel divisions

Syria's army has been making advances against the opposition in recent days by exploiting divisions among rebel fighters and by relying on elite fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah, analysts say. On Sunday, the regime seized the rebel bastion of Yabrud, near the Lebanese border, dealing a powerfully symbolic and strategic blow. And on Thursday, its forces recaptured the famed Krak des Chevaliers Crusader castle in central Homs province, which had been seized by rebels shortly after the uprising began in March 2011.

U.S. halts Syrian embassy, consulate operations, orders diplomats out

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday suspended operations of the Syrian Embassy in Washington and its consulates and told diplomats and staff who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents to leave the country. U.S. special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had refused to step down and was responsible for atrocities against Syrians.

Syrian troops savour victory in fallen rebel bastion

On the main square of the former rebel bastion of Yabrud, three exhausted Syrian soldiers sit by a sculpture painted in the colours of the revolt savouring their hard-fought victory. "It was a very difficult battle, possibly the most difficult we have faced," a soldier who gave his name as Abu Mohammed told AFP between puffs on a water pipe. He said snipers had made it perilous for troops backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah as they advanced through the streets.

Jihadists 'execute' at least 22 in Syria

Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant "executed" at least 22 people, including 12 rebels, in the north of the country Tuesday, a monitoring group said. "ISIL members executed at least 22 persons with firearms or knives, after taking control of Shuyukh outside the town of Jarabulus" in Aleppo province, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. Among those killed were "at least 12 armed rebels," he said. ISIL seized Jarabulus, near the northern border with Turkey, from the rebels last month.
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