ISTANBUL – Turkey returned fire after Syrian mortar bombs landed in a field in southern Turkey on Saturday, the day after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Damascus that Turkey would not shy away from war if provoked.
It was the fourth day of Turkish retaliation for firing by Syrian forces that killed five Turkish civilians on Wednesday.
The exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria’s conflict, which began as a democracy uprising but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones. They highlight how the crisis could destabilize the region.
NATO-member Turkey was once an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but turned against him after his violent response to an uprising in which more than 30,000 people have died, according to the United Nations.
Turkey has nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees in camps on its territory, has allowed…
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