US spokesperson reaffirms Turkish right to protect territory against Syria

January 05, 2012, Thursday/ 16:35:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

US Department of State spokesperson Victoria nuland said in a press conference on Thursday that Turkey has a “sovereign right protect its own territory” along the increasingly tense Turkish-Syrian border.

Nuland made the comment while discussing the Turkish deployment of surface-to-air missiles along the Turkish-Syrian border. When a reporter asked Nuland, “Are you concerned that this situation may deteriorate and we may actually have some sort of heightened tension or even conflagration along the -- Syria's northern border with Turkey?” Nuland said: “I haven't seen the reports that you're citing on Turkish deployments. Obviously, it's the sovereign right of Turkey to protect its own territory.”

Nuland also praised the Turkish response to the growing humanitarian crisis on the border, stating: “We've been concerned all along with regard to the potential for -- we've had significant refugee outflows, potential for even larger refugee outflows. The Turks have been enormously generous hosts in supporting those Syrians who have sought refuge there,” she said.

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