Syria Condemns Turkey 'Cross-Border Shelling'


Syria's government has condemned alleged cross-border shelling by Turkish forces on Monday as a "blatant breach of international law", state media reported.

Late Monday, state news agency SANA quoted a source in the Syrian foreign ministry as condemning the reported artillery fire into northern Latakia province.

The source said Damascus considered the shelling "a blatant breach of international law and a crime against Syrian civilians".

The report added that the government "reserves the right to respond to this heinous crime with all available means".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, also reported cross-border fire in the area, but said it was unclear if the source was Turkish forces or rebels firing from inside Turkey.

He said one pro-regime militant was killed in the fire.

Turkey had no comment to make on the allegations.

In Moscow on Monday, defense ministry spokesman General Igor Konachenkov said Russia had received video several days earlier showing another incident in which Turkish forces fired into Syria from artillery stationed near the border.

He said Moscow was seeking a "speedy response and explanation" from NATO and Washington on Turkish actions.

Ankara is a key backer of the uprising against Syria's President Bashar Assad that began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

Damascus accuses Turkey of supporting "terrorism" in the country.

Moscow, meanwhile, is a staunch ally of Assad's government and began a aerial campaign in support of his regime in late September.

The campaign has created tensions between Russia and Turkey, particularly after Ankara in November shot down a Russian plane it said had strayed from Syria over its territory.

Moscow insisted the plane had not entered Turkish airspace.

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