Turkey vows to respond to Syrian airspace violation

Turkey’s defense minister has said the country’s armed forces would respond to an airspace breach by Syrian aircrafts.

"Military engagement rules established by [the Turkish] prime minister are still valid. Necessary response will be given to Syrian planes or helicopters which violate our airspace," Ismet Yilmaz told reporters on Wednesday.

The defense minister’s remarks came amid unconfirmed media reports that Syrian war planes had breached Turkish airspace several times during an aerial raid on a rebel-controlled area close to the Turkish border.

The two-day bombardment of Syria’s Ras al Ain town had killed at least 31 people and sent nearly 10,000 residents to Turkey to seek shelter.

Several people were also wounded just across the border in the southeastern Turkish town of Ceylanpinar by shrapnel pieces and shattered windows.

Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey had changed its military engagement rules on Syria after a Turkish reconnaissance plane was shot down by regime forces in June over international airspace in the Mediterranean. Erdogan said that any Syrian military unit approaching its border would be treated as a direct threat.

Copyright © 2012 Anadolu Agency