Syria:Turkish soldiers“left”at Sultan grandfather ma

03 May, 13:56

(ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, MAY 3 - A platoon of Turkish soldiers has been "forgotten" in Syrian territory, while tension mounts between Ankara and Damascus, Turkish press reported today.

On the basis of the 1921 treaty with France after the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of Sultan Osman I the Great, is considered to be in Turkish territory and is thus subject to the custody of Ankara's army. A platoon of Turkish soldiers is situated in the Syrian village of Karakozac, north of Aleppo, guarding the monument on which the Turkish flag is flying. The presence of these soldiers in Syrian territory at a time when Ankara has closed its embassy in Damascus, taking a stance against President Bashar Al Assad and threatening to ask NATO's intervention should there be a violation of their border, could constitute "an element of risk for Turkey", said Osman Behadir Dincer, an expert at the International Centre for Strategic Studies in Ankara, who spoke to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

Military sources have claimed instead that "our soldiers are still there and there is no problem" (ANSAmed).

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