The Turkish government envisages five levels of military response to escalating tensions with Syria, Milliyet daily wrote on Tuesday.
These are: artillery response to stray mortar fire from Syria; beefing up military presence along the border; air force raids against Syrian positions, and, as a last resort, sending ground forces into Syria.
Turkey has already sent troops and tanks to the border, transferred 25 F16 warplanes to its Diyarbakir Air Force base, and sent warships from the Sea of Marmara to the south-eastern Mediterranean. A fifth measure would entail creating a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border, should the current flow of war refugees, which now number 100,000, increase to 200,000. Turkey can host up to 120,000 refugees in acceptable conditions, the newspaper quoted authorities as saying.