Namik Kemal Zeybek recently said that the Taliban militants were using a refugee camp in Turkey’s Hatay Province on the border with Syria as their base. The militants infiltrate into Syria and attack Syrian targets and then return to the base, he noted.
Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil. Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside.
Turkey’s border is widely believed to be used to transfer foreign militants and weapons into Syria.
In July, Turkish lawmaker Refik Er-Yilmaz said that many CIA and Mossad agents were in Hatay, and that the spies carry various types of identification.
The Turkish government also recently secured NATO’s approval for the deployment of surface-to-air Patriot missiles on its border with Syria.
The agreement emerged from a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on December 4 despite strong opposition from Russia, Syria and Iran.
On December 14, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order to authorize the plan to deploy Patriot missile batteries and about 400 troops to Turkey following the announcement of a similar move by Germany.