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Syria-Turkey tensions soar as clashes intensify

Published on Oct 15, 2012 6:53 AM
Turkish tanks take position near the border with Syria at Suruc in Sanliurfa on Oct 12, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syria banned Turkish flights from its airspace on Sunday and Turkey made a similar tit-for-tat move, as regime forces pressed their counter-attack against rebels to regain territory lost in northern battlegrounds.

The reprisal for Turkey confiscating a cargo of what Russia said was radar equipment being flown from Moscow to Damascus came despite a flurry of diplomacy intended to calm soaring tensions between the neighbours.

Syria accuses Turkey of channelling arms from Gulf Arab states to rebels fighting its troops, who have been under mounting pressure across large swathes of the north, including in second city Aleppo.

The Syrian flight ban went into force from midnight (5am on Sunday, Singapore time) "in accordance with the principle of reciprocity", Sana state news agency said.

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