Erdogan Says Syria Will 'Pay Price' if It Strikes Againإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan again warned Syria on Friday it would pay a big price for further attacks, two days after a deadly cross-border shelling.
Erdogan reiterated that Turkey does not want war but is ready to act if threatened by the regime of President Bashar Assad, which has been at war with rebels since early last year.
"I am calling once more on the Assad regime and its supporters: Don't dare to test Turkey's patience," Erdogan told a large crowd of supporters of his ruling AKP party in Istanbul.
"Turkey will prevail without a scratch out of this incident and proceed on its way. But you will be crushed by it and pay a big price."
On Wednesday Syrian shells killed five Turkish civilians in the border town of Akcakale, prompting Turkey to hit back at Syrian army positions.
Turkey's government also obtained a one-year mandate from parliament authorizing 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.
"We are not war-enthusiasts," said Erdogan, but he stressed that Turkey had waged many wars throughout its history and was "ready to fight for peace".
Wednesday's incident marked the first time Syrian shells have killed Turkish nationals since the uprising against the regime in Damascus began in March 2011.