Turkish Defence Ministry reported a missile attack coming from Syria on Thursday, adding that Turkish forces returned fire.
"Missiles fired from Syria fell on a desert territory in the province of Kilis. There were no casualties, no damage was caused. The Russian Federation was notified that the fire [from the Syrian territory] was stopped," the Turkish military said via Twitter.
Kilis Province is located in the southern part of the country, on the border with Syria.
1️⃣ Suriye'den atıldığı belirlenen roketler Kilis'te boş araziye düşmüştür. Olayda yaralanan vatandaşımız olmamış, hasar ve ziyan meydana gelmemiştir.— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) March 18, 2021
"At points from which, as it was determined, firing was fired, return fire was immediately opened. Our military forces in the region have been alerted about the incident. We follow the development of events," the military said.
Kilis officials confirmed that 2 projectiles were fired from Syrian territory, they did not explode. According to the officials, the rockets are believed to have been fired from the Tell Rifaat area in Aleppo Governorate, which is reportedly under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
Suriye tarafından Kilis’e atılan 2 roket yerleşim yerleri yakınında boş araziye düştüğü video pic.twitter.com/lIFfAQy5kq— 🇹🇷Taha Kara 58 🇹🇷 (@kara_karga58) March 18, 2021
Footage allegedly showing the retaliatory fire has been shared on social media. Two strikes can be heard in the background.
Syria has been engulfed in a devastating civil war for 10 years now, with President Bashar al-Assad's forces fighting against various insurgent and terrorist groups that had gathered momentum following the uprising of 2011. Damascus has regained control of most of the territories, apart from Idlib - the north-western province that is mostly controlled by militants from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham*.
Both Russia and Turkey are currently the ceasefire guarantors in war-torn Syria. In October 2019, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria aimed at clearing the borderline areas of the Syrian Kurdish militia. The latter is believed to be linked with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, whom Ankara has designated as terrorists.
Damascus has repeatedly opposed Turkey's operations on its territory as a violation of Syria's sovereignty. Turkey, in its turn, said that its operations were aimed at ensuring national security.
Russia deployed troops to Syria in 2015, at the request of the Syrian president to assist Damascus in fighting the terrorists.
*Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra) is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other states