Turkey has confirmed it is deploying more fighter jets to an airbase close to the border with Syria, amid artillery exchanges along its tense southeastern border with Syria.
"Assad ... is only able to stand up with crutches," Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, once a close ally of Assad, told a meeting of his ruling AK Party.
"He will be finished when the crutches fall away."
Erdogan, reacting to six consecutive days where shells fired from Syrian soil have landed on Turkish territory, has warned Ankara will not shrink from war if forced to act.
But Ankara has also made clear it would be reluctant to mount any major operation on Syrian soil, and then only with international support.
At least 25 additional F-16 fighter jets were deployed at Turkey's Diyarbakir air base late on Monday ( via aljazeera.com ).