Smugglers from Syrian side attack Turkish border post
Last year, around 2,000 people, including 500 foreigners, were caught while trying to cross the border illegally, according to army officials. AA PhotoClashes erupted in the southern province of Hatay on May 18 when smugglers attacked a border military post, opening fire with a heavy machine gun and Kalashnikovs from the Syrian side.
The smugglers launched the assault on the Hacıpaşa border post in the Altınözü district in “retaliation” because the post had “inflicted a heavy blow” on the smuggling activities in the region, Turkey’s General Staff said in a statement.
Turkish soldiers responded with fire and reportedly destroyed the smugglers’ weapon, a Dushka, a Soviet heavy machine gun. No casualties were reported on both sides.
Another vehicle also approached the border with a weapon during the day, but fled after Turkish troops opened fire, it added.
Following the attack, the region was reinforced with armored vehicles and 63 more personnel based on intelligence hinting at an another assault, the General Staff said.
The Turkish Army has effectively worked against smuggling on the border with Syria in many ways, constructing concrete walls and ditches along the border to prevent crossings and deploying patrols to monitor the area around the clock.
Last year, around 2,000 people, including 500 foreigners, were caught while trying to cross the border illegally, Anadolu Agency quoted a general from the Turkish Army serving on the border as saying.
Meanwhile, three F-16 jets patrolling along the Turkish-Syrian border were harassed by SA-2 and SA-5 missile systems deployed in Syria for 25 seconds, the military said.