Syrian jets hit targets in Ras al-Ain, killed 4

Syrian warplanes bombed the town of Ras al-Ain near the border with Turkey on Monday, days after the town fell to rebels.

Syrian jets hit targets in Ras al-Ain, killed 4

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Syrian warplanes hit targets Monday in Ras al Ain, a town close to the Turkish border, killing at least 4 Syrians and wounding 20 others.

Helicopters also strafed targets near the town, which fell to rebels on Thursday during an advance into Syria's mixed Arab and Kurdish northeast. 

The jet struck within metres (yards) of the border fence that divides Ras al-Ain from the Turkish settlement of Ceylanpinar, sending up plumes of black smoke.

A Reuters reporter in Ceylanpinar said the plane flew right along the border and appeared at one point to have entered Turkish airspace.

Ambulances carried wounded Syrians to hospitals in Ceylanpinar after the bombardment which also shattered windows of shops on the Turkish side of the border, a local mayor said.

Ismail Arslan, the mayor, said shrapnel pieces landed also in the Turkish side of the border slightly wounding one Turkish citizen.

To Ankara's alarm, some 9,000 Syrians arrived in one 24-hour period last week, swelling to over 120,000 the number of registered refugees in Turkish camps, with winter setting in.

Turkey is becoming increasingly concerned about security along its border with Syria.

Turkey says it is talking to its NATO allies about the possible deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to guard against a spillover of Syria's 19-month-old conflict.

Such a move could also be a prelude to enforcing a no-fly zone in Syria to limit the reach of President Bashar al-Assad's air power, although Western powers have steered clear of this.

Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon to keep people on the Turkish side away from the border fence. In Ceylanpinar, anxious residents crowded outside a teahouse to watch the bombing.

"I thought the Turkish government said it wouldn't allow these helicopters to come so close to the border," said one Turk who declined to be named. "Look, they're coming inside our border."

Ras al-Ain, 600 km (375 miles) from Damascus, is part of Syria's northeastern oil-producing province of Hasaka, home to many of Syria's million-strong Kurdish minority.

Last Mod: 12 Kasım 2012, 13:26
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