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Monday
Oct082012

Tensions Mount as Syria and Turkey Keep Lobbing Shells at Each Other

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- A fifth day of shelling Syria Sunday seemed to belie the Turkish prime minister's statement last week that his country did not want to go to war.

The Turks said their action was retaliatory because a Syrian mortar round had landed near the border village of Akcakale.  It was in the same town last Wednesday that a Turkish mother, her children and a relative were killed by Syrian fire.

Last week, the government in Ankara passed a resolution to allow the Turkish army to respond militarily if its security is threatened.  At the time, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wanted to avoid war with Syria.

Fears are growing within the region that the 19-month conflict in Syria will spread to other countries.

The fighting is growing more intense as the opposition tries to repel a new push by government forces to retake control of areas in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.  On Saturday alone, there were more than 150 deaths reported -- a third of them civilians.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio