Turkey responds al-Qaeda attack on its territory

Turkey responds al-Qaeda attack on its territory
Thu Oct 17, 2013 08:49:41

The Turkish military has said it has fired artillery at targets belonging to al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria — in retaliation for a mortar shell that landed close to a Turkish military post near the border.

The military said Wednesday troops fired four rounds from self-propelled artillery guns at positions held by militant group of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near the Syrian border town of Azaz. It said the terrorists’ attack occurred Tuesday.

Turkey frequently retaliates against stray fire from Syrian government or opposition forces, but it was the first time the country has declared that it had engaged the al-Qaeda-linked group.

Turkey has been accused of supporting al-Qaeda-linked groups fighting the Syrian government. The country denies backing Takfiri groups and has recently publicized efforts to crackdown on al-Qaida militants.

Reports say Turkey is concerned about the infiltration of al-Qaeda and Takfiri terrorists in its territory. Ankara, however, continues to allow terrorists from everywhere in the world to break into Syria from Turkish border.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, over 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

Syria crisis started as pro-reform protests but with interventions by the United States, UK and their regional and western allies it soon turned to a massive insurgency which took in numerous terrorist groups from all over Europe and the Middle East to wage one of the bloodiest wars the region has ever experienced.


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