The Straits Times
Published on Oct 08, 2012

Turkey fires artillery into Syria after shelling


ISTANBUL (REUTERS) - Turkish forces fired across the frontier into Syria on Sunday after a shell launched from Syria landed in Turkey's border town of Akcakale, underlining Ankara's warning that it will respond with force to any violence spilling over into its territory.

It was the fifth consecutive day of Turkish retaliation against incoming bombardment from northern Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been battling rebels who control swathes of land close to the Turkish frontier.

The exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's revolt against Mr Assad, which began in March last year with protests for reform but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones which threatens to draw in regional powers.

The Syrian shell landed near a plant belonging to the Turkish Grain Board, the Dogan news agency reported, several hundred metres from the centre of Akcakale where five civilians were killed on Wednesday in previous Syrian artillery fire.