Syria

Turkish army artillery pounds west Syria

356098_Turkish-army-artillery  (1)

Turkish army has fired several rounds of artillery toward western Syria as Ankara seeks to renew its assistance to foreign-backed militants fighting against the Damascus government.

On Wednesday, Turkish forces fired across the frontier into a border region, which is administratively part of Syria’s western province of Latakia.

The development comes after Turkey shot down a Syrian fighter jet on Sunday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country’s F-16 military aircraft shot the Syrian warplane down after it strayed into Turkey’s airspace.

Syria called the shoot-down an act of “blatant aggression,” and said the downed plane was flying over northern Syria at the time.

Meanwhile, three Turkish policemen and two suspected militants of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been injured during an anti-terror operation in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul.

Turkish special forces and anti-terror units stormed several buildings in the Umraniye neighborhood of Istanbul on Tuesday evening. Suspects fired back at security forces before they were shot and captured.

The police operation was launched after it was announced that the ISIL was behind a deadly attack on security forces in Turkey’s central province of Nigde on March 20.

Three people were killed and five others, including a Turkish gendarmerie soldier and a police officer, were injured during the assault.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Some sources say over 140,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

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