Turkey and Syria swapped some of their most violent cross-border exchanges on Saturday a day after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Damascus he would not shy away from war if provoked.
One resident of the border town of Guvecci said: “Artillery shells and mortar rounds are landing around 20 metres from the Turkish border. They are even firing at vehicles and are wounding people here.”
This is the fourth day of strikes and counter-strikes which began when shelling by Syrian forces killed five Turkish civilians further east on Wednesday.
Meanwhile on Saturday seemingly unperturbed by either the cross-border dispute or the bloody civil war which grips his country, President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public appearance.
With his military generals, the dictator laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier on the 39th Anniversary of the Arab-Israeli War.
But as Syria’s leaders paid their respects to the dead from an old conflict, Turkey looks increasingly poised, and warns Damascus not to make the “fatal mistake” of provoking a new war with them.