Justin Vela

The tragedy of Akcakale…

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Residents in Akcakale, Turkey on Thursday October 4, 2012 peer inside a house which was shelled by Syrian regime forces on Wednesday October 3, 2012, prompting Turkey to retaliate by shelling Syria for the first time.


Istanbul – Last Wednesday, Syrian regime forces killed five Turkish citizens in what was claimed to be accidental cross border shelling. The killing of its citizens prompted Turkey to retaliate and the Turkish military shelled Syria for the first time.

The first shell that hit landed on a grain dispensary in the late afternoon. The second injured a policeman. Soon after, a third hit, killing five members of a family.

The children had come to their front gate, perhaps out of curiosity, after the first explosion and two women were just behind them in the courtyard of the house. A fourth shell landed soon afterwards, down the street.

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Syrian shells have continued to land in Turkey over the past four days. This morning a mortar round landed in the village of Guvecci. The Turkish military again returned fire, according to the BBC.

No one knows what the coming days with bring. Turkey does not want to enter into a direct conflict with Syria, despite backing rebel groups fighting the Syrian regime. Still, Turkey-a NATO country- will do what it can to protect its citizens in this rapidly changing situation.

The Akcakale border crossing with Syria. In the background on the left the flag of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) is visible.


A child rides a bike near Turkish military positions along the Turkey-Syria border.

Turkish citizens in the village of Oncul, just outside of Akcakale, listen to sounds of gunfire and explosions just across the border in Syria.


Written by Justin Vela

October 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

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