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LOCAL > Ceylanpınar calm after intense Syria bombing

CEYLANPINAR / LONDON

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Syria’s air force bombed rebel-run Ras al-Ayn near the border with Turkey. AP photo

Syria’s air force bombed rebel-run Ras al-Ayn near the border with Turkey. AP photo

Turkey sent fighter jets to its southeastern frontier with Syria for a second day yesterday, following an air assault this week by Syrian warplanes on the rebel-held border town of Ras al-Ayn.

A Reuters reporter in the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar, which abuts Ras al-Ayn, said he saw two Turkish jets roar along the frontier. He said there was no sign of fighting in Ras al-Ayn, after days of bombing by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters reporters heard Turkish fighter jets near the border on Nov. 14, shortly after a Syrian warplane bombed Ras al-Ayn, sending more Syrian refugees trickling through the barbed-wire fence that divides the town from Turkey.

Rebels overran the town last week during an advance into Syria’s mixed Arab and Kurdish northeast that has triggered some of the biggest refugee movements of the 20-month civil war. Turkey has promised to defend itself against any spillover of violence from its neighbor, and says it has fired back repeatedly in retaliation for stray gun and mortar fire landing on its soil.

Meanwhile, senior British ministers and armed forces officials met yesterday to discuss the government’s military, humanitarian and diplomatic options in Syria, Agence France-Presse quoted Foreign Secretary William Hague as saying.

“We have discussed the grave and worsening situation in Syria,” Hague told reporters at the Foreign Office. Hague did not specify the options discussed at the meeting, which British media said may have included a no-fly zone and the supply of anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels fighting forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

November/16/2012

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