Turkey to Hold Military Exercises Near Syria

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's military says it will conduct exercises near the border with Syria, where thousands have died following a government crackdown on protesters.

The military said in a statement on its website Tuesday that the maneuvers will take place in the southern province of Hatay, between Oct. 5-13.

The exercises are likely to coincide with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan planned visit to a nearby area where some 7,500 Syrians have sought refuge from Syrian President Bashar Assad's brutal crackdown

Turkey has already imposed an arms embargo on Syria and Erdogan is expected to announce new sanctions on its neighbor while in Hatay.

Erdogan had cultivated a close friendship with Assad. But Turkey has grown increasingly frustrated with Damascus over its refusal to halt the attacks.