Turkey beefs up military presence on Syria border

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Turkey has beefed up its military presence along its southern border with Syria in anticipation of strikes on the regime in Damascus, local media reported Thursday.

A 20-vehicle convoy with a tank contingent was deployed to the border area of Yayladagi in Hatay province on Wednesday, and was followed by 15 more vehicles Thursday, Turkish news agency Dogan reported.

The move is just the latest in a series of reinforcements deployed by the Turkish army to the 900-km (560-mile) long border with the war-torn country.

Tanks and heavy artillery were moved to the border in early 2012, a few months into the conflict.

Patriot air defense missiles were also deployed earlier this year on the Turkish border with Syria to help protect the country against potential Syrian strikes.

Turkey, a NATO member that has broken off a previously close relationship with the Syria regime over the violence, is home to more than 500,000 Syrian refugees who have fled a civil conflict that is now well into its third year.

Ankara supports a multilateral intervention against the country after an August 21 chemical attack near Damascus that left hundreds dead, which the West has accused Assad's regime of perpetrating.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated Tuesday that his country would support any coalition willing to intervene against the Syrian regime.