Tensions Mount along Turkish-Syrian Border

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Syrian President Bashar Assad saud his country is at war, even as rebel forces set off a bomb in Damascus on Thursday near a busy market and the Palace of Justice.

The blast sent a column of black smoke up over the capital, a stronghold for Assad.

Tensions are also growing along the border between Iranian-backed Syria and U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey.

Turkey deployed troops and anti-aircraft rocket launchers to the border with Syria on Thursday.

The Turkish move followed Syria's shooting down of a Turkish military plane over the Mediterranean last week. One analyst said it would only increase tensions.

"So, all this [shooting down of the Turkish aircraft] can do is provoke and anger and it has accomplished that -- not enough to produce a war but again be one more straw on the camel's back and a few more months of this sort of thing and I wouldn't be surprised if the outside world gets a lot more involved in this war than we have so far," Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, told CBN News.

Turkey warned Syria to keep its troops away from the border. But on Friday, The Jerusalem Post in an unconfirmed report quoted a rebel general saying Assad's army is amassing tanks about 19 miles from the Turkish border.

Turkish-Syrian relations are already strained. Turkey is hosting tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing fighting in their country. Turkey has been backing the rebel's Free Syrian Army.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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