CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) – Gun and mortar fire could be heard on Saturday from the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain two days after it fell to rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, and refugees who had fled to Turkey said they feared retribution from the air.
Laden with what possessions they could carry, Syrians continued to cross the border into Turkey, some saying they were scared the fighting was not over and Assad’s fighter planes and helicopters would be back.
ANKARA/DOHA (Reuters) – Thousands of Syrians fled their country on Friday in one of the biggest refugee exoduses of the 20-month civil war after rebels seized a border town, and the United Nations warned that millions more still in Syria will need help as winter sets in.
In Qatar, the main opposition group outside Syria elected a new leader. However, it will start talks on Saturday with other factions, including representatives of rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, on forming a wider body that hopes to gain international recognition as a government-in-waiting.
ANKARA (Reuters) – Around 9,000 Syrian refugees fled into Turkey in the past 24 hours, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday, and Turkish state media said 26 defecting Syrian army officers had also arrived.
More than 120,000 registered Syrian refugees are now sheltering in Turkish camps. Tens of thousands of unregistered Syrians are also living in Turkish border towns and villages.
ANKARA (Reuters) – About 8,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria have crossed into Turkey in the last 24 hours, a Turkish foreign ministry official said on Friday, following a rebel offensive along the border.
Rebels, who have driven President Bashar al-Assad’s troops from much of northern Syria and taken several crossing points to Turkey, overran another frontier town late on Thursday, a rebel commander and opposition sources said.
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Abdullah Gul confirmed on Thursday that Ankara was in talks with NATO about deploying a defence system on its soil to counter a potential missile threat from Syria.
NATO-member Turkey has already bolstered its own military presence along the 910-km (560-mile) border and has been responding in kind to mortar shells hitting its territory as a result of fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels.
ANKARA, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Turkey will imminently lodge an
official request with NATO asking the military alliance to
deploy Patriot missiles along its border with Syria to guard
against violence spilling over, a senior Turkish foreign
ministry official said on Wednesday.
If approved, the deployment would represent a further
deterioration in relations between Turkey and Syria – once close
allies – and see more military hardware poured into a region
where tensions are already high.
ANKARA, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Turkey is to make an imminent
official request to NATO to station Patriot missiles along its
border with Syria, a senior Turkish foreign ministry official
said on Wednesday.
NATO-member Turkey has already bolstered its own military
presence along the 910-km (560-mile) border and has been
responding in kind to gunfire and mortar shells hitting its
territory from fighting between Syrian rebels and Syrian
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey puts four former Israeli military commanders, including the head of the army, on trial in absentia this week for the 2010 killing of nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship.
The trial, which begins in Istanbul on Tuesday, will further test relations between the one-time strategic allies and has been dismissed by Israel as a “show trial” and “political theatre”.
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of secularists protesting at a banned rally in the capital on Monday against what they see as an increasingly authoritarian and Islamist government.
The scenes of chanting men and women draped in Turkish flags and carrying banners portraying the country’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk highlight a longstanding division in Turkish society between staunch secularists on the one hand and more conservative religious Turks on the other.
ANTAKYA, Turkey, Oct 22 (Reuters) – An influx of Syrians
fleeing President Bashar al-Assad’s military onslaught is
stoking tension in an area of Turkey known for religious
tolerance and setting Turks who share the Syrian leader’s creed
against their own government.
In the Turkish frontier province of Hatay, home to
the Antioch of the Bible and a mix of confessional groups rare
in an overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim country, Turks of Arab origin
who share Assad’s Alawite beliefs are increasingly critical of
Ankara’s open support for rebels fighting the Syrian leader.