Turkey returns fire after Syrian mortar strike on Akcakale
Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 01:22
Oct. 7 - Turkey's military fire an artillery round into Syria in immediate retaliation after a shell fired from Syria lands in the Turkish border town of Akcakale. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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Turkey's military fired an artillery round into Syria on Sunday (October 7) in immediate retaliation after a shell fired from Syria landed in the Turkish border town of Akcakale, the Dogan news agency reported, the second such incident in five days.
The latest Syrian shell hit land near a plant belonging to the Turkish Grain Board, several hundred metres from the centre of Akcakale, where five civilians were killed on Wednesday (October 3) in a previous Syrian shelling.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the latest incident. On Saturday (October 6), three mortar bombs fired from Syria landed in areas near Guvecci village prompting further retaliatory fire from Turkish forces. The Syrian mortar rounds hit empty land and there were no casualties.
The exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's conflict, which began as pro-democracy protests but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones. They highlight how the crisis could destabilise the region.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Syria on Friday (October 5) that Turkey would not shy away from war if provoked.
NATO member Turkey was once an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but turned against him after his violent response to an uprising in which, according to the United Nations, more than 30,000 people have died.
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