Refugee camp afte attack
Refugee camp
Photo: MCT

Turkey strongly condemns Syria border clashes

Government official says Syrian forces attacked refugee camp near Kilis; Ankara condemns clashes, urges adherence to peace plan. Activists say Assad's forces kill 30 near Hama

Turkey condemned clashes between Syrian soldiers and rebel fighters along its border with Syria on Monday in which at least five people were wounded including two Turkish officials.


The clashes occurred inside Syria near the Kilis refugee camp, which is located in Turkey's Kilis province lying on the Turkey-Syria border.


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Syrian forces fired across the border toward protesters at a refugee camp in Turkey in the first such attack since Turkey began sheltering thousands of refugees last summer, authorities said.


Two Syrian citizens living in the Kilis camp and two Turkish citizens working there were wounded as a result of gunfire coming from Syria, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said. 


Refugee camp under fire


"We strongly condemn this tragic incident which took place at a time when (Syrian) armed forces should be drawn back as part of Kofi Annan's mission," it said in a statement.


"Syrian citizens who flee the violence of the Syrian regime are under Turkey's full guarantee. It's natural that we will take necessary precautions if such incidents occur again."


Turkish security forces were reinforced in the well-marked border area following the attack, state television said.



Meanwhile, that two of 13 Syrians who had been wounded in clashes inside Syria and were brought to Kilis for treatment earlier Monday have died.


On Monday afternnon, local activists reported that Syrian military forces killed 30 people on Monday, mostly women and children, when they bombarded a town in the central province of Hama.


They said 17 children and eight women were among those killed in al-Latmana, northwest of the city of Hama. Activists said 40 people were killed in an army attack on the same town two days earlier.


More than 24,000 refugees have crossed from Syria into Turkey. Syrian forces are escalating attacks across the country to try to crush a 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.


פליטים מסוריה חוצים את הגבול (צילום: AFP)

Syrian refugees cross into Turkey (Photo: AFP)


Turkey's prime minister said Saturday that his country will wait "patiently" to see if Syria abides by a ceasefire deadline, but may take certain "steps" if the violence does not stop after that.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not specify what measures Turkey would take. But Ankara has in the past floated the idea of creating a buffer zone inside Syria if refugee flows become overwhelming.


Separately, a leading international human rights group said Syrian forces have summarily executed more than 100 people, most of them civilians. This includes several mass executions in the restive provinces of Homs and Idlib, Monday's report by Human Rights Watch said.


The New-York-based group says it only included cases corroborated by witnesses but has received more reports of similar incidents. The executions took place over the past four months, with most in March.


An internationally brokered truce requires Syrian forces to pull out of population centers by Tuesday. But Assad's government now wants guarantees that rebels will lay down their arms.


Roi Kais, AP and Reuters contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 04.09.12, 13:02
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