Last updated: 5 February, 2012

Gunfire overnight at Syria-Turkey border

Intense gunfire rang out overnight at the Syria-Turkey frontier as Damascus moved to root out the opposition in a Syrian border village, a local source said Sunday.

According to a Turk living in a border village in southern Turkey’s Hatay province, machine gun fire rattled late into Saturday night in the Damascus-led operation against the opposition in the Ain al-Beida village.

“We were very scared, the shots damaged our satellite dishes,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Turkish television station NTV quoted other villagers saying that another Syrian village, Khirbet al-Joz, had also been targeted by Syrian forces.

According to press agency Anatolie, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has telephoned the governor of Hatay to obtain details about the situation on the ground.

Some 7,500 Syrians have fled violent repression to Turkey since anti-government protests began in March. Most are living in camps in Hatay.

Once a close ally of Syria, Turkey has since been at the forefront of international criticism over the Damascus regime’s crackdown on protests.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also urged his once close friend, President Bashar al-Assad, to quit.