Iran Press TV
Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:47PM
Turkey has scrambled fighter jets to the Syrian border after a soldier was killed and a number of others injured in the Kilis region by gunfire which came from the Syrian side of the frontier, Turkish media say.
The Turkish Anadolu news agency reported the cross-border incident on Thursday, adding that the gunfire came from an area controlled by the Takfiri ISIL terror group in neighboring Syria.
At least four Turkish soldiers were also wounded in the cross-border fire, Turkey's Dogan news agency reported.
Following the deadly incident, clashes erupted between Turkish army forces and ISIL militants, with Turkish tanks opening fire on ISIL-held targets on the Syrian soil, according to Turkey's national NTV channel.
According to the NTV, one ISIL militant was killed in the exchange of fire, which is said to be the most serious outbreak of clashes between the Turkish armed forces and the Takfiri terrorists in Syria so far.
Meanwhile, local media reported that Turkey has dispatched F-16 fighter jets from their base in Diyarbakir Province to the Syrian border following the exchange of fire there.
This as earlier in the day, a Turkish police officer was shot dead and another seriously injured by gunmen in the country's predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir following a similar incident a day earlier.
The deadly attack took place on Thursday as the police officers were conducting a routine traffic check in the southeastern city in Diyarbakir Province, just a day after two other police officers were found shot dead in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
The military wing of Turkish Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the People's Defence Forces (HPG), claimed responsibility for the killing of two Turkish police officers, saying the security officers were cooperating with the ISIL Takfiri group operating in neighboring Syria.
The HPG said the killings came in retaliation against the July 20 terrorist bombing in the town of Suruc on the border with Syria that killed 32 people, mostly young activists.
Ankara announced Thursday the arrest of three suspects in connection with the Wednesday killing of the two police officers.
Meanwhile, other reports said earlier in the day that another militant group, allied to the PKK, had shot dead in Istanbul an alleged member of the Takfiri ISIL terror group who had fought in Syria.
The man, identified as Mursel Gul, was assassinated late on Tuesday, local media reports said on Thursday, adding that the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the PKK, claimed responsibility for the killing in a statement.
The YDG-H statement further insisted that the alleged ISIL element had come to Istanbul seven months ago for medical treatment after being wounded while fighting against the Kurds in the northern Syrian town of Kobane.
"We will continue our operations against the IS (ISIL) gang and have identified many of them and will execute and punish them," it said. "The Suruc murderers will be brought to account."
The reports come amid growing tensions in Turkey following the July 20 bomb attack in Suruc, which was reportedly claimed by ISIL.
Turkish officials have confirmed a 20-year-old Turkish man linked to ISIL carried out the Suruc bombing. Media reports named the bomber as university student Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz from Adiyaman in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey has beefed up security at its border with Syria in the aftermath of the Suruc bombing and the recent attacks against security forces.
The Suruc blast targeted dozens of people from a pro-Kurdish group called Socialist Youth Associations Federation (SGDF), who had gathered at the Amara Culture Center of Suruc Municipality before their journey to the Syrian northern town of Kobani, known as Ain al-Arab in Arabic, to help restructure the town.
The attack inflamed tensions with Turkey's Kurdish minority, which is disappointed with the government's failure to support the Kurdish forces fighting the Takfiri terrorists inside Syria.
Ankara has widely been blamed as the major state-sponsor of ISIL's bloody terror campaign across neighboring Syria, extending military and logistical support to the extremist militants in collaboration with its Western and regional allies.