Turkish forces hit targets inside Syria for the 5th consecutive day , following mortar attack


JNN 8 Oct 2012 Istanbul : Turkey’s military has fired an artillery shell into Syria shortly after a mortar round fired from Syria hit the southeastern Turkish border town of Akcakale.

According to Turkish sources, the shell fired from Syria landed on the grounds of a public building on Sunday but there were no casualties. The building had been evacuated beforehand.

The extent of the damage, the location hit by the Turkish artillery and the number of casualties in Syria was not immediately clear.
Cross-border fire rages on between Turkey and Syria in the recent days as the Syrian army battles insurgents near the Turkish border.

At least five people were killed after a mortar fired from Syria landed in Akcakale on Wednesday. Since then, Turkey has been firing into Syria and the parliament authorized troops to launch cross-border operations against Syria and strike at Syrian targets for a period of one year if necessary.

On Saturday, Ankara deployed tanks and armored vehicles along its border with Syria. Damascus, however, denies claims about Syrian military’s involvement in the shelling as false accusations.

On October 5, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey was not far from war with Syria due to the cross-border attacks.

“We are not interested in war, but we’re not far from it either,” Erdogan told a crowd in Istanbul.

“Those who attempt to test Turkey’s deterrence, its decisiveness, its capacity; I say here they are making a fatal mistake,” he warned.

Tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Turkey along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security and army personnel.

The Turkish military has fired mortar shells into Syria for the fourth day in a row after a number of projectiles slammed into the southern border province of Hatay.

“A mortar landed today (Saturday) at 7:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) about 50 meters inside Turkish territory in an open space about 700 meters from the village of Guvecci and about 300 meters from a police station,” the office of the Hatay governor said in a statement, AFP reported.

According to the statement, there were no reports of casualties in the incident.

It added that the Turkish army responded by firing four rounds of mortars. The statement also noted that the Syrian mortars had been fired by government forces that were attacking insurgents near the Syrian-Turkish border.

The latest exchange came three days after mortar shells from the Syrian side of the border killed five civilians in the town of Akcakale, which is located in Sanliurfa province in southeastern Turkey.

On October 5, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey was not far from war with Syria due to the cross-border attacks.

“We are not interested in war, but we’re not far from it either,” Erdogan told a crowd in Istanbul.

“Those who attempt to test Turkey’s deterrence, its decisiveness, its capacity; I say here they are making a fatal mistake,” he warned.

On October 4, the Turkish parliament authorized cross-border military action against Syria “when deemed right.”

Tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Turkey — along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar — of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security and army personnel.
In an interview with the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet in July, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Ankara “has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”

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