News / Middle East

Stray Bullets from Syria Kill 2 in Turkish Border Town

Image shows shelling of the Al-Qaboun neighborhood in rural Damascus, Syria, July 15, 2013.
Image shows shelling of the Al-Qaboun neighborhood in rural Damascus, Syria, July 15, 2013.
Reuters
A man and a 15-year-old boy were killed by stray bullets shot from Syria in a Turkish border town and Turkish troops returned fire, officials said on Wednesday, in the most serious spillover of violence into Turkey in weeks.
 
The Turkish military said it acted in accordance with its rules of engagement after bullets fired from the adjacent Syrian town of Ras al-Ain hit police headquarters in the southeastern Turkish town of Ceylanpinar and houses in the town's center.
 
The incident, which took place on Tuesday, underscores growing concern that Syria's more than two-year-old civil war is dragging in neighboring states.
 
Kurdish fighters have been battling Islamist anti-government rebels in Ras al-Ain since Tuesday. Ceylanpinar sits only meters across the frontier from Ras al-Ain.
 
Health officials said earlier that the boy was undergoing surgery after being hit in the head by a bullet, but later confirmed he had died of his wounds on Wednesday. Security sources said clashes were still ongoing.
 
The Turkish military said a local government official had been lightly wounded by one bullet but made no mention of any other casualties.
 
It gave no further details of any targets it had struck inside Syria.
 
Turkish troops have stepped up return fire into Syria in recent weeks due to what officials have said was heightened tension along the border and increased activity by smugglers, many of them armed.
 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said Kurdish armed men had taken control of most of Ras al-Ain from Islamist rebel fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
 
The clashes between Kurdish fighters, who generally support the creation of an autonomous region within Syria, and Islamist Arabs started on Tuesday after Nusra fighters attacked a Kurdish patrol and took a gunman hostage, the Observatory said.
 
Clashes between Kurds affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish party with links to Kurdish militants in Turkey, and anti-Assad Syrian and foreign fighters have erupted since Kurds began asserting control over parts of the northeast from late last year.
 
Ras al-Ain, also known by its Kurdish name Serekani, and Ceylanpinar were once a single town under the Ottoman Empire before they were split after WW I, and both have Arab and Kurdish communities.
 
In the worst example of the spillover of violence into Turkey, 52 people were killed when twin car bombs ripped through Reyhanli, another border town, on May 11. Turkey accused Syria of involvement in the attacks but Damascus has denied any role.
 
Turkey, which is sheltering around 500,000 Syrian refugees, has become one of Assad's most vocal critics and has scrambled war planes along the border as stray gunfire and shelling hit its soil. The civil war began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid