There were also new signs of the mounting tensions between Turkey and Syria, two former allies who have become bitter foes since the outbreak of the 19-month-old rebellion against President Bashar Assad. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that Turkey is barring Syrian civilian flights from Turkey's airspace, a day after Syria issued such a ban for Turkish commercial aircraft. Davutoglu said Syria is "abusing" civilian flights by using them to transport military equipment.
Last week, Turkey forced a Syrian plane coming from Russia to land and confiscated what it said was military equipment on board. Russia said the plane was carrying spare radar parts, while Syria accused Turkey of piracy.
After a week of exchanges of fire across the volatile border, a Turkish newspaper reported that Turkey has reinforced four naval bases along its Mediterranean coast north of Syria. In an unattributed report, the Hurriyet daily said Turkey sent frigates with cannons, as well as anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles to the naval bases.
Turkey has been retaliating for Syrian shells and mortar rounds hitting Turkish soil.
Despite Turkey's recent measures, Syrian opposition leaders say Ankara and other foreign backers of the rebels are not doing enough to help them break the battlefield stalemate. Abdelbaset Sieda, head of the largest opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said the international community is doing nothing more than managing the Syrian conflict.