Turkish media say the military has fired 87 times on Syria, killing 12 Syrian soldiers in tit-for-tat attacks amid soaring tensions with the Arab neighbor. The figures were revealed on Saturday by a report published in the daily Milliyet newspaper, which also said several Syrian tanks were also destroyed in the strikes.
Turkey has been carrying out a series of retaliatory attacks against its former ally since five Turkish civilians were killed by Syrian mortars fired into the southern frontier town of Akcakale on October 3.
The report said the retaliatory fire had been in response to 27 mortars or shells fired from Syria, adding that Ankara had immediately responded to every incident.
It also claimed that five Syrian tanks, three armored vehicles, one mortar weapon, one ammunition vehicle and two anti-aircraft guns had also been destroyed.
Turkish F-16 war planes have also been on high alert at the Incirlik air base in Adana, some 100 km (62 miles) from the Syrian border.
Ankara has upped its war rhetoric against Syria with Chief of Staff General Necdet Ozel warning of strikes “with greater force” in case of further Syrian mortar fire.
The Turkish parliament has also authorized military operations against the neighboring country when deemed right.
Tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Turkey along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security and army personnel.