40 Syrian soldiers killed as tensions with Turkey continue
Syrian rebels seized on Saturday a border village on the Turkey border after fighting that killed 40 soldiers, whose shots have hit new Turkish territory and provoked retaliation from Ankara.
Since the conflict began, the Syrian army has lost large areas of northern Syria along the border with Turkey, which are held by the insurgents in the west and to the Kurdish areas in the east. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), the rebels took control of Khirbet al-Joz, in the province of Idleb (northwest), 2 km from the border with Turkey, a country that supports Syrian insurgents.
The fighting, which lasted 12 hours, left 40 dead on the side of the Syrian army and nine insurgents in the village which was completely deserted of its inhabitants, says the SOHR. On the other side of the border, the Turkish army has responded to two new mortars from Syria that hit its territory in the province of Hatay (southeast) without casualties or damage, announced an official source. The first shell landed 50 meters inside the Turkish territory in a vacant lot, a statement of the Hatay Governorate has indicated. The Turkish military retaliated with four rounds of mortars.
Since the death on Wednesday of five Turkish civilians killed by Syrian gunfire, Ankara have been responding systematically, highlighting the tensions between Syria and Turkey.