Date
13 December 2017
Turkish tanks take up position on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. Photo: Reuters
Turkish tanks take up position on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. Photo: Reuters

Islamic State shells hit Turkey amid Syria border fight

Turkish tanks were deployed along the border with Syria as shells fired by Islamic State militants landed inside the country, injuring five people including two soldiers, Bloomberg reported.

One of the mortar shells hit near the border crossing of Mursitpinar, close to a group of journalists and Turkish security forces, CNN-Turk said. Another shell landed near a refugee camp, about a kilometer inside Turkey.

Regular explosions and gunfire could be heard from Turkish territory as Turkish troops returned fire, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Islamic State’s offensive against the mostly Kurdish town of Kobani in northern Syria has sparked an exodus of tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds, and raised concern that the fighting would spill over into Turkey.

Turkey has signaled it is ready to join the coalition assembled by the United States to fight Islamic State, reversing an earlier reluctance to get involved in the conflict.

Turkey “can’t stay out” of the campaign, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sept. 28.

Erdogan has said that Turkey, a NATO member, wants to see the creation of a safe zone inside Syria, without giving details.

Turkey may not be able to cope with further inflows of refugees from Syria, and needs to locate them in “safe areas” inside Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said yesterday.

The fighting over Kobani continued yesterday, as Islamic State militants fired rockets into the city center, killing at least three people, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

US-led forces have launched air strikes on territory controlled by Islamic State near the conflict zone with the Kurds, according to the Observatory.

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RA/JL

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