Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on his nation to be prepared for a possible war with the neighboring Syria if need be. “You have to be ready at every moment to go to war if it is necessary. If you are not ready for this, you are not a state, if you are not ready for this, you are not a nation,” Erdogan said in a speech on Sunday.
The prime minister reiterated that Turkey does not want war, but warned Syria not to test its resolve.
“Nobody should attempt to test Turkey’s decisiveness and sensibility,” stated the Turkish prime minister whose country is accused of being a key member of an international coalition attempting to destabilize Syria.
Tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Ankara — along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, and the United States — of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security and army personnel.
“Nobody should ask… but what will happen if a war were to begin and bring us to that point. You should be ready for it and have the memorandum in hand. What is necessary will be done if it becomes necessary,” he stated.
Erdogan’s remarks came amid days of military strikes between the two countries.
On Sunday, Turkey’s military fired an artillery shell into Syria shortly after a mortar round fired from Syria hit the southeastern Turkish border town of Akcakale.
On Saturday, the Turkish military fired mortar shells into Syria for the fourth day in a row after a number of projectiles slammed into the southern border province of Hatay.
Saturday’s exchange came three days after mortar shells from the Syrian side of the border killed five civilians in the town of Akcakale, which is located in Sanliurfa province in southeastern Turkey.
On October 5, Erdogan said that Turkey was not far from war with Syria due to the cross-border attacks.
“We are not interested in war, but we’re not far from it either,” Erdogan told a crowd in Istanbul.
On October 4, the Turkish parliament authorized cross-border military action against Syria “when deemed right.”