Last Updated: Fri Oct 19, 2012 14:36 pm (KSA) 11:36 am (GMT)

Turkey urges Damascus to ceasefire, retaliates after Syrian shelling

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Damascus must start with the first steps to ceasefire. (Reuters)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Damascus must start with the first steps to ceasefire. (Reuters)

While Turkey urged all sides in Syria to ceasefire, its military fired back into Syria on Friday after two shells launched from Syria landed in Turkish territory, Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported, without specifying where the incident occurred.

Turkey has carried out a series of retaliatory strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, fighting rebels in border regions, since Syrian shelling killed five Turkish civilians in a Turkish border town at the start of October.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called for all sides involved in the conflict in Syria to observe a ceasefire during the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival next week.

U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is expected in Damascus on Friday to try to broker a brief ceasefire in the war between President Bashar al-Assad and rebels.

Davutoglu says the Syrian government should take the first steps by halting attacks “immediately and without preconditions.”

Syria says it wants a cease-fire but the rebels lack a unified leadership that can agree to it.

Both sides have flouted previous cease-fires after verbally agreeing to them.

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