As fighting near the 550-mile border has unfolded over the past week, several mortar bombs have landed on Turkish soil, prompting Turkish gunners to return fire. It has not been clear whether the Syrian mortar is deliberate or the result of inaccurate fire in clashes between government forces and rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.
“We responded, but if it continues we will respond with greater force,” state television quoted the Turkish chief of staff, Gen. Necdet Ozel, as saying, according to Reuters.
The exchange of fire has raised concerns that the conflict will ignite a broader crisis in the region. On Tuesday, the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, emphasized that NATO, of which Turkey is a member and which considers an attack on one member to be an attack on all, had “all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary.”
But Mr. Rasmussen also made it clear that he had no desire to embroil NATO in the conflict.
Full article: Turkey Warns Syria It May Use ‘Greater Force’ (NY Times)