On Friday, the Turkish government held an emergency security meeting in Ankara to discuss the latest Syrian troop movements near its borders.

A statement subsequently released by the Turkish foreign minister confirmed that Ankara is keeping a close eye on these developments and had called the Syrian ambassador to Turkey to notify him of its concerns.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, described the Syrian military action as "very worrisome," adding that it could increase the risk of a border clash with Turkey and worsen the plight of refugees. So far, approximately 12,000 Syrian refugees have crossed into Turkey and some reports suggest Syrian forces may seek to prevent more from reaching the Turkish border.

Just what message is Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, trying to convey? Could the move push Turkey to change its rhetoric over the events taking place in neighbouring Syria? Or is it just a sign of the Syrian government's growing desperation?

Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, discusses with guests: Yusuf Kanli, a columnist for Hurriyet daily news, who has written extensively on Syria-Turkey relations and the impact of Syrian military operations on the border; Anas al-Abdah, the chairman of the Syrian movement for justice and development; and Thabet Salem, a political commentator.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Saturday, June 25, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera