As it happened: Turkish army engages in first gunfight with ISIL after soldier killed on border
A Turkish soldier has been killed by gunfire from across the Syrian border, triggering what was described as the first gunfight between Turkey's army and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.
Here are the updates as they were posted:
19:54 - "It seems that the Turkish army has included ISIL in the scope of its rules of engagement," Hürriyet's Ankara bureau chief Deniz Zeyrek told on CNNTürk, after more details emerged regarding the start of today's incident.
19:40 - Private broadcaster CNNTürk reports that the initial clash occured as a group of ISIL militants attempted to sneak into Turkey by illegally crossing the border. Militants fired on Turkish soldiers when they were prevented.
19:14 - The Turkish Air Force ordered its fighter jets "to be ready" for a possible operation, according to CNNTÜrk.
18:45 - A written statement issued by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) confirms that the attack on Turkish troops was carried out by ISIL at 1:30 p.m., July 23. Five armed terrorists opened fire a border military outpost on Syrian border and killed one non-commissioner officer and wounded two troops, the army said. As a result of Turkish retaliation, one ISIL terrorist was killed. Three ISIL vehicles have also been hit, it added.
18:36 - Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency publishes the photo of whom it described as the ISIL militant who was killed.
18:20 - Anadolu Agency reports the initial clash occured when 10 ISIL militants opened fire on Turkish soldiers on the border. The body of an ISIL militant, who was killed on the border by the responding fire, was carried to Turkey by soldiers together with his rocket launcher, AK-47 rifle and ammunition, according to Anadolu Agency. Beside killing one ISIL militant, the Turkish bombardment with tanks and howitzers also destroyed an armed ISIL vehicle in the Ayyusha village of Syria's Azaz province.
18:11 - A special security meeting has started in Ankara after a delay due to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s prolonged meetings with National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel. CNN Türk reports Davutoğlu and Özel are now following the clashes that commenced during the meeting.
18:03 - The border clash is over, according to CNNTürk, which nonetheless reports that the Turkish armed forces have continued to fire.
18:02 - Four tanks respond to ISIL's fire in accordance with the Turkish military's rules of engagement, private broadcaster CNNTürk reports.
17:44 - F-16 fighter jets have taken off from Turkish air base in Diyarbakır, Radikal news website reports.
17:26 - Turkish artillery starts to bombard ISIL positions in northern Syria, the state-run Anadolu Agency reports.
17:11 - Turkish media reports that an ISIL militant was also killed in the clash.
17:05 - According to private broadcaster CNNTürk, the attack started at 13:30 and continued with more gunfire from the Syrian territory controlled by ISIL, prompting a proportional response by Turkish armed forces.
16:48 - A non-commissioned military officer in the province of Kilis, Yalçın Nane, was killed by a gunshot from across Turkey's border with Syria on July 23, Anadolu Agency reported. Two specialized sergeants, Fatih Kurt and Necef Çakmaktepe, were injured in the clash near the 5th Armored Brigade Border Post. "They were taken to hospital by ambulance, and their health status is fine," Kilis Gov. Süleyman Tapsız said.
Hours before the clash, two Chechen-born Russian citizens were detained in Kilis while trying to cross into Syria illegally. According to a police statement, the two men will be prosecuted in Turkey on suspicion of attempting to join ISIL.