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Erdogan Rattles Turkey’s Sword; Report Hizbullah On-ground Fighting for Assad

Continuing to rattle Turkey’s sword in the aftermath of Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish F4 Phantom jet fighter, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has moved 15 tanks and armored vehicles to the border with Syria. For his part, Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad told his cabinet that the country is “in a real state of war” and has directed his government that “all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war.” In its first comment on last Friday’s incident, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement warning Western nations not to view the incident ”as a provocation or premeditated action” in order to justify a response against Damascus. Moscow urged the Turks and Syrians to interact “in order to clarify all the circumstances of the incident.” Meanwhile, in Damascus on Wednesday morning, gunmen stormed into the studios of a privately-owned but pro-Assad television station, planted explosives, set off a blast killing three station employees. The station has supported President Al-Assad and his government throughout the uprising that began a year ago last March and has claimed more than 15,000 lives. A report from Lebanon says fighters from the Hizbullah terrorist organization are on the ground in Syria in support of President Al-Assad. Beirut’s Daily Star newspaper quoted Riad Al-Assad, the commander of the Free Syrian Army, as saying, “We have confirmed that [Hizbullah] is involved in events inside Syria…We have seen several heavily armed convoys and several buses.”