Turkish military retaliates after new Syrian shell


Turkey’s military Monday struck back at Syrian military positions after a shell fired by the neighbouring country landed in a Turkish border area, a Turkish official told AFP.
Turkey retaliated in kind after the Syrian shell landed in Altinozu district, in southeastern Hatay province, at around 1200 GMT, said the official speaking on condition of anonymity. “Turkish military retaliates immediately after every single Syrian shell,” said the official. “We have anti-aircraft batteries pounding Syrian targets.”
Earlier, Hatay’s governor said a total of six Syrian shells had hit the Turkish side of the border on Monday, without any casualties. But it was not immediately clear if the governor’s figures included the latest shelling.
“All of them landed in rural areas,” said Celalettin Lekesiz, in remarks carried by Anatolia, the state news agency.
The latest incident came on the sixth day of sporadic fire exchange between Turkey and Syria, which was inflamed after Wednesday’s deadly shelling fired by Damascus.
Syrian shells hit Akcakale border town in Sanliurfa Wednesday, killing five nationals. Since then, the Turkish military has responded in kind whenever Syrian fire has breached its territory. Wednesday’s incident was the most serious between Damascus and Ankara since Syrian anti-aircraft fire brought down a Turkish fighter jet in June, and renewed fears of a broader conflict.
The Turkish parliament on Thursday gave the government the green light to use military force against Syria if necessary.
The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned cross-border attacks by Syria and called for restraint between the two neighbours.