drum beats and Rumours of war middle east escalation continues Turkey returns fire after shots fired from Syria-no casualties Israel could swoop on S-300 missiles in Syria, but with risks

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s military on Thursday returned fire after shots were fired at an armored personnel carrier from across the border with Syria.

A military statement said a group of around three to five people from across the border fired up to 15 shots toward the vehicle that was patrolling an area near the Orontes river, on the frontier. Turkish state-run TRT television said no one was wounded and the military said the group escaped and “disappeared from view” when it fired back.

Turkey has repeatedly struck back at the Syrian military in response to shelling and mortar rounds that landed on its territory since shells from Syria struck a Turkish village in October, killing five people. The incident prompted NATO to send anti-aircraft batteries to the area to protect Turkey.

Thursday’s incident was the first time the military has responded to shots fired from across the border and comes at a time of increased fears that Turkey and other neighbors of Syria are being drawn into the country’s civil war.

Turkey was once a close ally of Syria, but has now turned into one of Syrian President Bashar Assad regime’s harshest critics. It is a key supporter of the Syrian rebels, offering shelter for many senior and lower-ranking defected Syrian soldiers.

Turkey has blamed Syria for a pair of car bombings at the border town of Reyhanli on May 11, which killed 52 people. Syria has denied any involvement. more

Israel could swoop on S-300 missiles in Syria, but with risks

Reuters) – Israel could overcome advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles if they were deployed in Syria but any strikes on the system would be difficult and risk alienating its supplier, Russia.

Israel has pledged to take preventive action, seeing a future Syrian S-300 as a “game-changing” threat to its own airspace as well as to the relative free rein with which it now overflies its northern foe and neighbouring Lebanon.

Experts agree that Israeli sabotage or open force to disrupt delivery by Russia is extremely unlikely – a view seemingly shored up by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s announcement on Thursday that the first missiles had arrived.

That leaves Israel lobbying Moscow to slow down the shipment in hopes it would be overtaken and scrapped if Assad fell to a more than two-year-old rebellion, and in parallel preparing counter-measures to neutralise the S-300 on the ground in Syria.

more

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s