Turkish military retaliates to firing from Syria

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Ankara, Feb 16 (IANS) Turkish forces on Tuesday continued to shell the positions of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the country for the fourth day, saying they were responding to fire coming from the region.

Firing began from PYD positions in northern Syria on Tuesday, after which Turkish artillery units deployed in Kilis province bordering Syria began to shell the region, Xinhua reported.

Turkish security forces have also stepped up security measures across the Turkish-Syrian border, said the report.

Turkey’s army over the weekend shelled People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets, the military wing of the PYD, which is the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey will not allow the fall of Azaz town in Syria’s Aleppo province to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

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“We will not allow the fall of Azaz. This must be clear to all in the world,” said Davutoglu while en route to pay a visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

Azaz, in northern Syria near the Turkish border, is seen as a critical corridor that connects with Turkey.

The latest escalation came as talks over ground intervention by Saudi and Turkish troops in Syria made headlines in recent days.

Observers say such an intervention will make the war-torn country descend into further chaos.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said any foreign troops entering Syria without the consent of the government “will be sent home in wooden coffins.”

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