Turkey fires back

A general view of damaged buildings in Al-khalidiya neighbourhood in Homs yesterday.

ANKARA — Turkey’s army fired on Syria today after two shells launched from Syria landed in Turkish territory, Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported, underlining how tension between the two neighbours remains dangerously high.

TRT did not specify where the incident occurred and no further details were available. There were no reports of any casualties resulting from the exchange of fire.

Turkey has carried out a series of retaliatory strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces fighting rebels along the border since Syrian shelling killed five Turkish civilians in a Turkish frontier town at the start of October.

Syrian rebels clashed with Assad’s troops in a town near the Turkish border province of Hatay today ahead of moves to broker a brief ceasefire, a Reuters witness said.

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising from the Syrian town of Haram after an explosion around midday. The morning was punctuated by sounds of small blasts and gunfire, said witnesses in the nearby Turkish village of Besaslan.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called today for all sides involved in the Syrian conflict to observe a ceasefire during the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival next week.

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is expected in Damascus later in the day to try to broker that ceasefire. (Reuters)

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