Turkey fires back after shell from Syria lands in Hatay
Hatay Governor's Office said that a mortar shell landed in a field near Hacıpaşa town of Altınözü district at 4:15 p.m. and Turkish border forces immediately retaliated.
The office said that there were no casualties in the incident.
The local sources said Syrian forces targeted the fleeing Syrians, who escape the raging battles that razed the Syrian border towns that have been scene of fierce fighting between regime loyalists and opposition forces.
Turkey has shelled Syrian targets after a mortar fired from Syria killed five civilians in a border town early this month.
Turkey and Syria exchanged artillery fire for six consecutive days. The exchange of fire is one of the most serious and prolonged flare-ups of violence along the frontier and it has stoked fears of a regional conflagration.
During his visit to inspect border troops last week, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel vowed to give a "harsher response" to Syria if shelling from the neighboring country continues to spill over the border.
The intermittent fires raise concerns among world powers as the US and EU called on both sides to defuse the tension and exercise restraint.
US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone has said his country sees no possibility of war between Turkey and Syria even as tensions between the two neighbors continue to escalate.
"Turkey has responded very proportionately and calmly and confidently - which is obvious to us a position of strength. Turkey has not fallen into a trap that perhaps the Assad regime, in its desperation and its weakness, seems to be trying to set." Ricciardone said.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week that Turkey is not seeking war but also is 'not far from war' with Syria. Turkish Parliament has recently approved a government motion that authorizes cross-border military operations.