The Syrian-Turkish artillery exchanges are becoming a nearly daily tradition: first on Wednesday, when NATO member countries had to be woken up late at night at the request of Turkey to opine on whether Syria had breached Article 4 (leading to a lot fo harsh language by Hillary Clinton), then again on Friday, and now on Sunday, when Syria, (or at least various Al Qaeda factions inside of it, presumably not those endorsed by Turkey) is once again provoking Turkey by firing into the same location as on the previous two occasions, leading to the inevitable Turkish retaliation. All this of course is happening as Turkey deploys ever more military at its Syria border. One of these days, after the latest Syrian 'provocation', Turkey will just snap and invade, taking advantage of the Bill recently passed in Parliament which gives the country permission to invade Syria if it so chooses in retaliation, and of course of NATO's unconditional backstop. And just to add spice to the situation, an unidentified drone will quietly fall out of the skies just because.
Turkey's military fired an artillery round into Syria on Sunday in immediate retaliation after a shell fired from Syria landed in the Turkish border town of Akcakale, broadcasters said, the second such incident in five days.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Syria on Friday that Turkey would not shy away from war if provoked, but a series of mortar bombs fired from Syria have hit Turkey since then.
There were no casualties when the latest Syrian shell hit land near a plant belonging to the Turkish Grain Board (TMO), several hundred metres from the centre of Akcakale, where five civilians were killed on Wednesday in previous Syrian shelling.
The exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's conflict, which began as pro-democracy protests, but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the shells fired from Turkey landed near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad.
Broadcaster NTV said the shell from Syria landed in the garden of the TMO plant near storage silos. It said the silos had suffered some damage from shrapnel.
Before the latest strike into Turkey, the Syrian military had fired seven artillery shells on Sunday into an area close to the Syrian customs building, which is around 300 metres from the border and under the control of rebel forces, Dogan said.
People were reportedly killed in those strikes and two Syrians wounded in the strikes were carried through the border fencing and taken to a hospital in Akcakale, Dogan said.
As a reminder: "an online video purporting to be from Jabhat al-Nusra, a jihadist group accused of ties to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility."
As a further reminder, from before the first artillery exchange: "Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Air, has been transiting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants from North Waziristan in Pakistan to the Turkish borders with Syria, sources revealed on Saturday, mentioning that the last group were flown to Hatay on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012. The Turkish intelligence agency sent 93 Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from Waziristan to Hatay province near the border with Syria on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012 and via the Karachi-Istanbul flight route,” the source told FNA on Saturday, adding that the flight had a short stop in Istanbul."
And so on.