President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, March 19, that the missile attack from Syrian territory towards the Turkish province of Kilis in the south of the country is “unacceptable. The Turkish Armed Forces immediately responded to the shelling and are currently “monitoring the incident,” the head of state said, Hürriyet Daily News reported.
The attack is “a manifestation of the events of the last week, of the last 10 days,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan added in a conversation with reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
“Another mistake was made earlier. This is, of course, a practice of the (Syrian) regime, and in response, we gave them a necessary lesson with our (howitzers) Fırtına. The attack on Kilis is of course unacceptable,” the Turkish leader said.
Missiles fired from Syria landed in Kilis province late on the evening of March 18, the Turkish Defense Ministry said earlier on Friday. According to the military ministry, the missiles did not explode, no local citizens were injured and no damage was done to property as a result of the attack.
“A cease-fire notice was sent to the Russian side and certain targets (in Syria) were immediately attacked,” the report said.
It can be understood that the Turkish side suspects the Syrian government forces of shelling its territory, given that the notice was addressed to the command of the Russian group of troops in the Arab republic.
As TOPNEWS reported earlier this week, the Turkish military indicated that ballistic missiles were fired from the Syrian army’s Quayres airbase in Aleppo province and hit oil and logistics facilities of the “armed opposition” in the cities of Jerablus and Al-Bab. It was claimed that the strikes were “targeting civilian settlements and gasoline tankers, with civilians wounded.” Turkey’s defense ministry also said Ankara officials had contacted the Russian troop command in Syria and “demanded that the shelling stop,” adding that Turkish forces in the region had been placed on high alert.