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Turkish Army Attacks Targets in Syria

The Turkish army attacks several targets in Syria after a Syrian mortar lands in Turkey and kills five.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/3/2012, 11:24 PM

Syrian mortar lands in Turkey
Syrian mortar lands in Turkey
AFP/Anatolia

The Turkish army attacked several targets in Syria on Wednesday evening, officials in Ankara confirmed.

The incident, the first of its kind since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad began in March of 2011, came several hours after a mortar shell fired from Syria exploded on Turkish territory and killed five people.

“Our military forces, operating in the border area, responded this evening to the criminal attack that took place earlier today,” said a statement from the office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We used artillery fire against the targets and a hit was detected,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that NATO, in an emergency meeting Wednesday, backed Turkey and called on Syria to respect international law.

"The Alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an Ally and urges the Syrian regime to end flagrant violations of international law," a statement said after the meeting was called at Ankara's request.

Erdogan has openly backed the rebels trying to bring down Assad’s regime, straining Ankara’s relations with Damascus.

Classified documents published Saturday by the Al-Arabiya network indicated that two Turkish pilots killed in Syria after Syrian forces shot down their plane were deliberately executed following consultation between Damascus and Moscow.

A senior adviser to Erdogan responded to the report on Sunday, saying that the documents were fake and adding, “It is well known that intelligence documents do not look like this.”