Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara is prepared to react to any potential Israeli offensive against Lebanon.
Erdogan described Israel as full of “uncertainties” and said, “It is not definite what it will do.” He further warned of the prospects of such hostilities, Turkey’s state Anatolia news agency (AA) reported on Thursday.
“Does (Israel) think it can enter Lebanon with the most modern aircraft and tanks to kill women and children, and destroy schools and hospitals, and then expect us to remain silent?” AFP quoted him as saying in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
The Turkish leader is currently on a two-day visit to the country aimed at strengthening the bilateral ties and voicing support for Beirut in the face of a volatile international situation.
“We will not be silent and we will support justice by all means available to us.”
Ankara has opposed the last round of Tel Aviv’s offensives on southern Lebanon, which killed around 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians in 2006.
“In the event of war, the citizens of Israel will also be losers,” the Turkish leader warned.
The Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah, which defeated Israel in the 33-day hostilities and headed off Tel Aviv’s offensives on the country in 2000, has vowed to respond with determination to any future Israel-launched warfare.
The resistance movement has publicly announced that it has the capability to hit targets deep inside Israel and to strike Israeli Navy vessels even before they reach the Lebanese waters.
The Middle East is passing through a sensitive period, Erdogan said, and called for “unity and integrity” among regional countries.
He insisted that Israel “must realize that if there is peace and security in the region, it will also benefit.”