Mortar shells from Syria fired into Turkey-UPDATED

Three mortar shells drop on Turkey's border area as fighting between regime and opposition forces for a border town intensifies.

Mortar shells from Syria fired into Turkey-UPDATED

World Bulletin / News Desk

A huge explosion on the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Syria has been reported.

The blast follows several mortar shells that were dropped on Monday on Turkey's Yayladagi region - close to the Syrian border - as a result of a fight between Syrian opposition and regime forces for control of a town close to the Turkish border, Anadolu Agency correspondents at the scene reported.

The shells were reportedly fired from the Syrian town of Keseb, seized by the opposition armed group Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Saturday, but which regime forces are trying to recapture.

Three mortar shells dropped on the Yayladagi district of the Hatay province.

Turkish troops near the border retaliated by firing mortar shells, authorities said.

Turkey and Syria share more than 800 km of border.

The war between the Free Syrian Army and forces loyal to the embattled President Bashar Assad had been in an uneasy stalemate since late 2013.

Syria has been gripped by almost constant fighting since President Bashar al-Assad's regime responded to anti-government protests in March 2011 with a violent crackdown, sparking a conflict which has spiraled into a civil war.

The civil war, which entered its fourth year last week, has claimed more than 140,000 lives, according to the London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

Syrian missile system locks Turkish jet

Syrian missile air defense "harassed" a Turkish F-16 fighter jet on patrol in southern province of Hatay bordering Syria, according to a statement by the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces on Monday.

The Turkish F-16 jet was put under radar lock by Syria's missile system for four to five minutes while it was in Turkish airspace, said the statement.

The harassment comes after a Syrian warplane violated Turkey's airspace and was shot down by F-16 pilots on Sunday. The jet went down near the northwestern Syrian town of Kasab amid ongoing clashes along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The Turkish foreign ministry has said that the Syrian regime has not adhered to the Turkey-Syria Border Commission meetings protocol, signed May 9, 1971, which bans aircraft from either side getting any closer than five kilometers to their shared border.

Meanwhile, Syria shot down a Turkish warplane in 2012 after it reportedly violated the Syrian airspace and Turkey downed a Syrian MI-17 attack helicopter last September, saying it made a 2-km incursion into its airspace.

Last Mod: 24 Mart 2014, 14:29
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