Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Syrian regime "don't dare test Turkey's patience"
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seen here on October 2, has again warned Syria it would pay a big price for further attacks, two days after a deadly cross-border shelling. © Adem Altan - AFP/File
Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Syrian regime
Last updated: October 5, 2012

Turkish Prime Minister: Syria will pay price if it strikes again

Turkey again returned fire Friday after another Syrian shell slammed into its territory close to the border, said local authorities quoted by Anatolia news agency.

The Syrian projectile hit 50 metres (160 feet) from the frontier in a rural area near Turkey's Yayladagi town in Hatay province, triggering immediate response fire from Turkish forces, said Hatay governor Celalettin Lekesiz.

There were no injuries in Turkey, said Lekesiz.

The fresh exchange came two days after Syrian shelling killed five Turkish nationals in another border town, Akcakale, triggering retaliatory fire and plunging tense relations between the neighbours into a new crisis.

Turkey reacted furiously, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan again warned Syria on Friday that it would pay "a big price" for further attacks.

The warning came a day after his government obtained a one-year mandate from parliament authorising military raids into Syria if necessary.

Erdogan again said Turkey was not interested in war but would not hesitate to retaliate against any attack and violation of its national security.

Wednesday's incident marked the first time Syrian shells killed Turkish nationals since the uprising against the regime in Damascus began in March 2011.

Turkey had ceased fire on early Thursday, after its sporadic shelling pounded unspecified targets in Syria throughout Wednesday night.

Another shell landed in Hatay Thursday evening, which also led Turkey to briefly return fire, Lekesiz noted.

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