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Tension Continues As Turkey Returns Fire Against Syria

Turkey fired across its border into Syria again today in retaliation for a mortar shell that landed inside its borders.

The AP reports:

"The Anadolu Agency quoted the governor for Hatay province as saying that Turkish troops 'responded with fire' after the mortar round landed in a rural area of the province that borders Syria. No one was reported hurt.

"Turkish artillery has fired at Syrian targets for two straight days after shelling from Syria killed five civilians in Turkey.

All of this comes a day after the Syrian parliament authorized a military operation outside its borders, if the government decided it was necessary.

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had made it clear that his country is not seeking a war with Syria, but today he delivered a stronger message.

"I am calling once more on the Assad regime and its supporters: Don't dare to test Turkey's patience," Erdogan said in Istanbul according to the AFP. "Turkey will prevail without a scratch out of this incident and proceed on its way. But you will be crushed by it and pay a big price."

Another big piece of news coming out of the conflict is that the United Nations Security Council issued a condemnation of the suicide bombings in Aleppo and the shelling into Turkey.

That condemnation of the shelling is important because Russia joined in on it. Russia along with China have backed the regime of the Bashar Assad throughout this conflict.

The AP says Russia, "has vetoed three council resolutions in recent months aimed at ending a civil war that activists say has left 30,000 dead. The council overcame deep divisions before calling on the Syrian government 'to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors.'"

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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