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Turkish military fires into Syria in response to stray Syrian rocket



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The aftermath of the Syrian rocket hitting Hatay Mosque.

Turkish artillery troops fired into Syria today after a Syrian rocket damaged a mosque in the border province of Hatay. Along with the rocket, three of the regime's mortar rounds hit in Hatay during fighting across the border in the Syrian province of Latakia between regime forces and rebels in the Armenian village of Kasab.

While the mortar shells landed in empty fields, the rocket hit the wall of the Haci Bilal mosque in the town of Yayladagi near a refugee camp. One Syrian woman near the mosque at the time was injured.

The governor of Hatay province issued a statement explaining the details of the attacks and saying, "in accordance with the change in the rules of engagement, our artillery on the border responded in like, toward the area from which the rocket was fired."

In June 2012 after the Syrian regime shot down a Turkish plane, Prime Minister Erdogan announced that the rules of engagement for the Turkish military had changed and that "if there are any military instruments or troops approach[ing] to the Turkish borders from the Syrian side in the form of a threat they will be perceived as military threats and will be acted accordingly from now on."

Rebel forces, led by the Al Nusrah Front, the Ahrar al Sham, and the Ansar al Sham, took over the town of Kasab about 10 days ago. The Syrian regime has been on the offensive in the area since.

Regime forces also launched airstrikes today on the city of Harem in Idlib province, across the border from the Turkish town of Reyhanli in Hatay. Some 21 injured Syrians have been taken to the public hospital in Reyhanli. Turkish security forces stepped up border control measures.

Last week a tape recording of high-level Turkish officials discussing Turkey's Syria strategy was leaked on YouTube. The leak reveals that the Turkish authorities are highly concerned about ISIS activities and may be looking for a pretext to conduct military operations against ISIS in Syria.

In his post-election victory speech yesterday, Erdogan said openly that Turkey is in a state of war with Syria.



READER COMMENTS: "Turkish military fires into Syria in response to stray Syrian rocket"

Posted by Baruk Abimaleck at April 1, 2014 6:28 PM ET:

Unfortunatily all the fighting groups in syriar are fracmented, for idiologycal reasons, but if they unite anf focus to fight the Dictator, I am sure the tide will be succeesful.

Posted by kush dragon at April 2, 2014 3:24 AM ET:

"The leak reveals that the Turkish authorities are highly concerned about ISIS activities and may be looking for a pretext to conduct military operations against ISIS in Syria."

LOL. Funny they should be concerned seeing as they are the largest source of territory and aid for the fundamentalists who are hard at work tearing Syria to shreds. Turkey is to Syria as Pakistan is to Afghanistan. These guys are absolutely ridiculous, especially Erdogan (who loves to criticize Assad but looks next in line to take his place as another brutal Mid-East dictator). Although I admit they are not supporting ISIS directly (at least that we know about), they are certainly great buddys with the freedom loving Nusrah Front, and all that entails.

Get ready for the blowback Turkey. I am sorry to say it, but it is well deserved.