Turkey’s Yurt Newspaper is reporting that the mortar used in a deadly bombing of a Turkish border town was specific to NATO and given to Syrian rebels by Turkey, according to RT.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told state-run television on Oct. 6 that the five civilian deaths in a Turkish border town on Oct. 3 were caused by a D30 type, 122mm artillery shell, which is used by the Syrian army.
But Yurt’s Editor-in-Chief, Merdan Yanardag, cited “information from a reliable source” who claimed that the mortar was given to Turkey by NATO and subsequently passed along to rebels fighting to topple Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The incident has led to seven consecutive days of mortar exchanges between the former allies.
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African news wire, told RT that given Turkey’s longtime relationship with NATO, it would be “unsurprising that this has happened.”
“Ankara isn’t taking any military actions or contemplating any type of military strategy without being in full cooperation with NATO forces,” Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African news wire, told RT.
On Tuesday NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO has “all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary,” according to AP.
Also on Tuesday Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported that at least 25 additional F-16 fighter jets were deployed to its southeast border late Monday.
On Sunday RT speculated that since the borders are under rebel control, Wednesday’s shelling could be a deliberate effort to legitimize military intervention.