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Turkey strikes Syria militarily near border area

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 8th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

After border skirmishes, Turkey's military has struck back at Syrian military positions. The fracas began  after a shell fired by Syria landed in a Turkish border area, reports say. Turkey retaliated after the Syrian shell landed in Altinozu district, in southeastern Hatay province.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity said that "Turkish military retaliates immediately after every single Syrian shell . We have anti-aircraft batteries pounding Syrian targets."

Hatay Governor Celalettin Lekesiz had earlier said that a total of six Syrian shells had hit the province so far, without any casualties.

It was not immediately clear if the governor's figures included Monday's shelling, which marked the sixth consecutive day of Turkish retaliation.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned against a spillover of the Syrian conflict into Turkey. "Our government is in constant touch with our general staff in this process," Gul was quoted as saying by Anatolia, the state news agency. "Whatever is necessary is being done as you already see, and will continue to be done."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has similarly raised concerns about arms supplies to both President Bashar al-Assad's government and rebel forces.

"I am deeply concerned by the continued flow of arms to both the Syrian government and opposition forces. I urge again those countries providing arms to stop doing so," Ban said at the opening of the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, France.

"Militarization only aggravates the situation. I am calling on all concerned to abandon the use of violence, and move toward a political solution. That is the only way out of the crisis."

Ban also warned of "dangerous" fallout from escalating violence along the Syrian-Turkish border.

"The escalation of the conflict along the Syrian-Turkish border and the impact of the crisis on Lebanon are extremely dangerous," Ban said.

Turkey's parliament has given the government the green light to use military force against Syria if necessary, while the U.N. Security Council has called for restraint between the neighbors.

Shells from Syria had earlier killed five civilians last week at Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province. The attack prompted Turkish retaliatory fire which has been repeated with every new Syrian shell that lands across the border as Assad's government battles rebel fighters.

In addition, shelling from Syria into Lebanon and cross-border shootings has become regular occurrences. Residents of Lebanon's frontier region have accused Syria's army of carrying out frequent incursions and kidnapping refugees.


 

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