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Monday, April 09, 2012

Syrian fire hits both Lebanon and Turkey

If the Assad regime has any interest in a cease fire, they're sure not showing it. On Sunday evening, Syrian fire after fleeing rebels went into Lebanon, damaging buildings. And on Monday, Syrian gunfire has wounded two Syrian refugees and one Turkish citizen in refugee camps on the Turkish side of the border. (A later report from Israel Radio reports on four people killed and 17 wounded, although another report - sourced to al-Arabiya - says that at least some of those killed were fleeing from Syria and may have died of wounds sustained in Syria). The Turks, being the Turks, are seething. This is from the earlier report.
Two Syrian refugees and one Turkish translator were wounded earlier Monday when the Kilis border refugee camp in Turkey's southern Gaziantep province came under fire from the Syrian side of the border, a Turkish foreign ministry official said.

"After this incident the Syrian Charge d'Affaires in Ankara was called and we demanded an end to this," the official said.

Turkish security forces increased their presence in the border area, which it was keeping open to Syrian refugees, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

Mohammad Abdelqader, a refugee in the camp who said he had witnessed the shootings, said two Syrians had been killed and two more had been wounded in the attack. Reuters could not immediately confirm that report.

Meanwhile, international mediator Kofi Annan announced he would visit a camp for Syrian refugees in Turkey on Tuesday en route for talks with senior officials in Iran, his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said on Monday.

"Mr. Annan will visit a refugee camp in Turkey tomorrow (Tuesday) on his way to Iran," Fawzi told Reuters in Geneva.

Earlier the British-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fierce clashes between Syrian security forces and rebel fighters close to a border crossing between the Syrian town of Azaz and the Turkish town of Kilis.

Syria on Sunday demanded written guarantees insurgents will stop fighting before it pulls back troops under the UN plan, and a rebel leader said the initiative was doomed.
It looks like Annan is about as successful as a mediator as he was as Secretary General of the UN.

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