Syrian soldiers killed in Turkish strike: Syrian Observatory
Several Syrian soldiers were killed in an overnight Turkish bombardment of a Syrian military post near the border town of Tel Abyad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday.
It gave no figure for the number of soldiers killed in the Turkish attack, which came after a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory killed five Turkish civilians on Wednesday.
Turkey strikes targets inside Syria
Turkish armed forces have launched artillery attacks against Syria in response to a mortar attack which killed five members of the same family in southeastern Turkey.
In a statement on Wednesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, said the attacks, carried out following radar tracking, were within the rules of engagement.
Separately, Bulent Arinc, the deputy prime minister, said: "There has been an attack on Turkey's mainland and its citizens lost their lives. There is definitely a response to it in international law ... We are not blinded by rage, but we will protect our rights to the end in the face of such an attack on our soil that killed our people."
The government in Ankara is expected to ask the parliament on Thursday to authorise cross-border military operations in Syria, according to Turkish media reports.
Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons, reporting from Antakya on the Turkish-Syrian border, said Arinc's mention of "certain responsibilities" contained within NATO treaty articles, could mean that Turkey responded without consulting international bodies first.
The Fight for Northern Idlib Province
By Asher Berman
The rebels of northern Idlib Province have consolidated control of the entire northern border area and are attacking the regime’s remaining positions along the eastern border. Idlibcity has remained out of the rebel’s grasp since they were pushed out in early March, but attacks in the provincial capital are rising.
Although rebels brigades in northern Idlib collaborate during specific operations, they have yet to form the larger regional command structures that have emerged in Aleppo province and Damascus city, and are not collaborating with the powerful rebel groups in southern Idlib Province. The regime’s position in northern Idlib has weakened significantly since early 2012, but the rebels are not yet strong enough to mount a final push against the regime.
Northern Idlib province borders Turkey to the north and West, Aleppo province to theeast, and the Jebel al-Zawiyah region to the south. The area is mostly rebel-controlled with the exception of Idlib city, the provincial capital which sits between the rebel-held Jebel al-Zawiyah region to the south and the rebel-held north.
Despite the presence of strong rebel groups on all sides, the regime has maintained tight control of Idlib city and the Mastouma military base located six kilometers to the south. The regime alsocontrols the town of Harem near Idlib’s northwestern border with Turkey.
The dominant rebel groups in northern Idlib are the Shuhada Idlib and Tawhid Brigades based outside Idlib city, the Dera al-Thawra Brigade and Farouq al-Shamal Battalion based around Sarmada near the Turkish Border, The Ahrar al-Shamal Idlib Battalion based in Sarmin.
The Aleppo bombings were among the biggest seen in Syria in 18 months of uprising. Attackers, believed to have been dressed in military fatigues, are thought to have convinced regime soldiers stationed in Saadallah al-Jabiri Square to let them enter the secure zone. They are then thought to have detonated the bombs believed to have been packed into cars.
Devastation was immense in the square. State television pictures also revealed significant damage to nearby residential buildings and offices. Both the Free Syria Army and a jihadist group, known as the Jabhat al-Nusra, claimed responsibility for the attack. Both said the blasts had targeted a military officer's club. Regime officials said the bombings were a suicide terrorist attack that had killed scores of civilians.
Saadallah al-Jabiri Square is not far from Aleppo's ancient market, parts of which have been destroyed in recent days during intense clashes between regime troops and rebels. The battle for Aleppo is taking an increasingly heavy toll on the city's historical sites as battle lines, which are drawn largely through a north to south line, slowly shift.
Reuters: Security sources say Turkish artillery continue bombardment into Syria targeting Tel Abyad district around 10km from border
Turkey artillery hits Syrian targets again: security source
Turkish artillery again hit targets in Syria on Thursday morning in reprisal for cross-border fire that killed five Turkish civilians the previous day, a security source told AFP.
"Artillery fire resumed at 0300 GMT this morning," the source said on condition of anonymity.
Some reports say Iran is amassing IRGC troops and long-range missile launchers towards Turkey. Khamenai would be quite stupid to do that.