Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 14 / Trend R. Hafizoglu /
The Turkish army will not wait for instructions from the government to launch military action in Syria, Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz said today.
The Turkish army has been placed on a high alert and will start military operations in the case of incidents from the Syrian side, the minister was quoted today by Time Turk newspaper as saying.
Earlier it was reported that Turkey has evacuated residents of three Turkish villages situated on the border with Syria.
For the second day the Syrian Air Force has been bombing and shelling the border areas with Turkey, where the armed opposition groups are situated. As a result, the artillery shells are falling daily on Turkish territory. The Turkish army has opened fire.
Relations between Ankara and Damascus deteriorated after Turkey opened fire on Syria on October 3 in response to the incident at the border with Syria. A Syrian missile hit a residential house killing five and wounding 10 Turkish citizens.
NATO and UN urged Syria to immediately cease all acts of aggression against Turkey. The Turkish parliament has provided Erdogan's government with a one-year mandate on trans-border operations against Syria.
Anti-government protests have continued in Syria for a year and half.
According to UN, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria is nearing 30,000.
Over 230,000 have become refugees with around three million in need of humanitarian assistance. The Syrian authorities say they oppose the well-armed militants.