At least five civilians have been injured when three Katyusha rockets fired by Takfiri militants operating inside Syria pounded a Turkish town near the border with the conflict-ridden Arab country.
A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday the rockets hit the garden of a house and open fields in Elbeyli neighborhood of Kilis, located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of the border with Syria.
Turkish artillery units and rocket launchers later lobbed a barrage of projectiles into Syria.
On April 24, dozens of people held a demonstration in Kilis to express discontent with the government’s inaction in the wake of rockets and other projectiles coming from territories controlled by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Syria.
Scuffles broke out when police forces intervened, spraying the protesters with water cannon and firing tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. The marchers hurled stones at police in response.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on May 2 that Daesh terrorists had fired 55 rockets into Kilis over the past three months.
A mother and her children react after two rockets hit the Turkish town of Kilis near the Syrian border, Turkey, on April 24, 2016. (Reuters)
According to Kilis Provincial Governor Suleyman Tapsiz, 20 civilians have lost their lives and some 70 others have been injured as a result.
According to local authorities, Syria-based Takfiri terrorists cross the border with motorbikes, open fire on border towns, and retreat before they can be targeted by Turkish howitzers stationed at the border.
Turkey has been accused of supporting militant groups fighting to topple the Syrian government since March 2011. It also stands accused of being involved in illegal oil trade with Daesh.
In late May 2015, Turkish-language Cumhuriyet newspaper posted on its website footage showing trucks belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, also known as the MIT, allegedly carrying weapons for Takfiri groups in neighboring Syria.
The daily newspaper reported that the trucks were carrying some 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy weapons.
Ankara denied the allegations in return, saying the trucks had been carrying humanitarian aid to Syria.