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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
International

Turkey seeks Nato support on border with Syria

Islamists reject opposition bloc as clashes rage

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday that Nato member Ankara would formally ask the alliance for Patriot missiles to protect its border with conflict-wracked Syria.

"(Patriots) are a precautionary measure, for defence in particular," Davutoglu told reporters. "We will submit the formal request as soon as possible."

Davutoglu's comments came a day after Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance had received no formal request from Turkey for the surface-to-air missiles, but they would consider it as "a matter of urgency" if one was made.

Turkey's border villages have been hit by artillery fire from Syria as forces loyal to Damascus battle rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The main Islamist rebel groups in Aleppo, a key front line in Syria's civil war, on Monday rejected the newly formed opposition bloc, saying they want an Islamic state, as clashes raged countrywide.

"We, the fighting squads of Aleppo city and province, unanimously reject the conspiratorial project called the National Coalition and announce our consensus to establish an Islamic state" in Syria, a spokesman announced in an Internet video.

Syrian rebels announced yesterday the creation of a security service to "defend the Syrian revolution" in a country that has been awash with feared intelligence agencies for the past five decades.

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