Turkey, Syria Tensions Mount After Another Round of Mortars
Turkey returned fire into Syria Saturday in retaliation for another round of mortar bombs shot from Syria that landed near a small village in Turkey on Saturday morning, Reuters is reporting.
No causalities have been reported; however, the exchange comes one day after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned the Syrian government that it will not rule out war with the country if provoked.
Officials said the bombs appeared to have been aimed by the Syrian government at rebels along the border. Syria also previously stated that a previous round of shellings, which killed five Turkish civilians, was also a mistake.
However, Erdogan said on Friday that Syria must not to make the "fatal mistake" of testing his patience.
"Those who attempt to test Turkey's deterrence, its decisiveness, its capacity, I say here they are making a fatal mistake," he said in a speech to a crowd in Istanbul.
"We are not interested in war, but we're not far from war either. This nation has come to where it is today having gone through intercontinental wars," he said.
The exchange brought on the fourth day of strikes between the two nations.
On Friday, the US said it expressed support for Turkey, saying that “action is appropriate.”
"We are outraged by the Syrian government's actions along the Turkish border. We stand with our Turkish allies," Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters.