Turkey warns Syria after mortar strike

Reuters News

9/29/2012 5:55:20 AM - Reuters News

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey signaled it would take action if there was a repeat of a mortar strike on its territory from inside Syria.

A mortar bomb fired from Syria hit southeastern Turkey on Friday, damaging homes and workplaces in the Akcakale border area, the private Dogan news agency said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in New York that Ankara had reported the incident to the United Nations and NATO, in comments broadcast by CNN Turk.

"I would like the public to know that if such breaches towards our borders continue we are reserving our rights and we are exercising our rights," Davutoglu said overnight on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, without going into greater detail.

Turkey has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, and is playing host to a number of Syrian opposition figures.

In April, Turkey said at least five people, including two Turkish officials, were wounded when cross-border gunfire hit a Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, further west along the frontier.

Turkey beefed up its troops and air defenses along its 900 km (560 mile) border after Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet in June.

At the time, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said any Syrian element approaching Turkey's border and deemed a threat would be treated as a military target.

(Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Andrew Heavens)