Syrian warplanes tore along the Turkish frontier on Monday and bombed the rebel-held town of Ras al-Ain just metres inside the border, sending scores of civilians scrambling for safety into Turkey.
The Local Coordination Committees, a Syrian grassroots opposition group, said 16 people had died in the air strikes. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 12.
The offensive has caused some of the biggest refugee movements since the Syrian conflict began nearly 20 months ago. Though Turkey is reluctant to be drawn into a regional conflict, the proximity of Monday’s bombing raids marked a fresh test of its pledge to defend itself from any violation of its territory or any spillover of violence from Syria.
One of the jets struck within metres of the barbed-wire fence that divides Ras al-Ain from the Turkish settlement of CeylanpÄ±nar, sending up plumes of black smoke.
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