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Turkey parliament to debate Syria strikes motion

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc gives a press conference on June 4, 2013 in Ankara (AFP/File)

Turkey's parliament will discuss a government motion authorising military strikes against Syria on Thursday, the deputy prime minister said.

Bulent Arinc declined to comment on its scope while speaking to reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting on Monday.

Turkey authorised military action against Syria shortly after a mortar attack fired from the neighbouring territory killed five of its civilians in October.

Since then, the Turkish military has retaliated in kind for every Syrian shell that has landed on its soil.

Relations between once close allies Damascus and Ankara have deteriorated since the outbreak of the deadly conflict in Syria in March 2011.

The long and volatile border between the two countries has become increasingly tense with a number of incidents in the area, prompting NATO to station Patriot missile batteries there for defensive purposes.

On September 17, Turkey downed a Syrian military helicopter that it said had violated its airspace, in a move Damascus said was aimed at heightening tensions between the two countries.