Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Damascus that testing his government would be “a fatal mistake”.
The strong rebuke follows Wednesday’s mortar attack by the Syrian army on a Turkish town which killed five civilians. Turkey’s forces launched two days of retaliatory strikes. Troops have stepped up patrols along the border.
Ahmet Sabritur, a resident of the town of Akcakale says tensions remain high:
“We haven’t slept all night. I really think the Turkish government has done a good thing. If it had not retaliated, things could have been worse. Syria could have attacked for a second time.”
On Friday, the Turkish military returned fire after a mortar bomb fired from Syria landed once again in Turkish territory.
The Turkish government has authorised further military action if required. Shortly after the approval, more than 5,000 people held an anti-war protest in Istanbul.
In the capital Ankara, police used teargas to break up a smaller rally.