Turkey shells Syrian artillery units near border
Turkey has fired shells at Syrian artillery units positioned near the border between the two countries, the Turkish military says.
According to the Turkish military, the shelling of the Syrian artillery positions on Wednesday, was in retaliation for a stray Syrian rocket that hit an area some 200 meters (yards) west of a Turkish military unit, near the Turkish border town of Reyhanli.
The Turkish military added that the rocket, which had been fired during the fighting between Syrian forces and terrorists operating against the Syrian government, injured five Turkish soldiers.
In March 2014, Turkey’s armed forces shot down a Syrian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey’s then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the Syrian jet had crossed the border into Turkey.
However, Syrian officials rejected Turkey’s allegations about violation of its airspace and said the plane was inside the Syrian airspace when it was downed. The officials said the warplane was targeting foreign-backed militants in the coastal province of Latakia, close to the border with Turkey.
Turkey has been one of the main opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since a conflict began in Syria five years ago.
Ankara is being accused by many governments for the persistence of bloody violence in Syria as it has openly supported the armed militants fighting against Assad.
Various offshoots of al-Qaeda and the ISIL Takfiri terrorists use the Turkey-Syrian border as a major supply route for obtaining heavy weapons and artillery.
Ankara is widely believed to be facilitating the flow of foreign nationals into neighboring Syria and Iraq, where they join the ranks of extremist terror groups.
The file photo shows foreign-backed militants in Syria, preparing to launch mortar shells.
Last month, Turkey and the US signed a deal to train and arm what they called moderate militants fighting against the government of Assad.