Turkey Fires on Hundreds Fleeing Syria on Horseback
Forces try to combat smugglers; 1,500-2,000 fired on in another incident
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2013 10:52 AM CDT
A youth and goats pass by Turkish military stationed on the Turkish side of the border near Syrian rebel-controlled town of Tel Abyad, in this, Oct. 5, 2012 file photo.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Turkey's border with Syria isn't the most welcoming place right now. The military opened fire on between 300 and 350 people headed for the border on horseback today, turning them back, Reuters reports. In a separate, even larger confrontation, troops fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse a group of 1,500 to 2,000 people. Turkey said the people, who threw rocks at military vehicles as they approached, were believed to be smugglers.

Turkey is increasingly worried about fuel and weapons smuggling from Syria. Just yesterday the military stopped another 1,000-strong group of would-be border-crossers and seized roughly 1,600 gallons of diesel from them. Turkey has also reduced the number of refugees it will allow in, the Guardian reports. Half a million have already crossed, but tens of thousands more are stuck on the Syrian side. Human Rights Watch recently chided the country for that, saying blocking people from escaping a war zone is a breach of international law.

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Aug 2, 2013 8:40 AM CDT
President al-Assad to army soldiers: you carry on war of homeland, our motto now is victory On the occasion of the Syrian Arab Army's Day, President Bashar al-Assad visited Daraya in Damascus countryside, inspecting a unit of the armed forces tasked with protecting the citizens and restoring security and stability to the area. President al-Assad congratulated the armed forces on the army's day, addressing them "He who gets down to the field with our armed forces and shake hands with their men is honored… any citizen will be honored by shaking hands with any fighter of the Syrian Arab army." "Being with you on this day, we feel that we are with each fighter in the Syrian Arab army in all place of the homeland's squares… when we shake hands with you, we shake hands with each fighter in Syria," President al-Assad added. The president said that his visit today was to thank the Syrian Arab Army's soldiers, by the name of citizens in Syria and by the name of each honest citizen, as they carry on the war of homeland, all homeland, and this is a thanking letter from each citizen. "The outcomes on the land speak… starting from Baba Amro into al-Qseir crossing the eastern Ghoutta… and today in Daraya and al-Khaldiye… we are very satisfied with your performance, but the most important thing is that the achievement of the Syrian Arab army became a matter of analysis in the whole world.. All analyze... What happens… and how could the Syrian Arab army withstand," the President said. President al-Assad added that the secret lies in the ideology of the Syrian Arab army, saying "of course, a lot of people don't understand what the concept of an ideological army, but an army to be ideological is the basis for any armed forces in the world, and even for the professional armies." "How many zero hours they set for now… from the beginning of the year till today there are 14 zero-hours they have set to attack Damascus, but in each zero-hour, you were shifting them into zeros, they, their plots and those who stand behind them," the President said. President al-Assad affirmed that usually the mottos come in the front and the practice comes after, but, this time, and through the Syrian Arab army, the practice came before the motto. President al-Assad also inspected another unit of the forces working in Daraya during which he underlined that the strength of the army comes from its sons, but at the same time, it come from the people's support to it, and the Syrian people stand by you and "when we say the army of the people, this means that the army defends the people, but at the same time, the people defend the army. The president appreciated the heroism and sacrifices of the Syrian army soldiers which preserved the homeland, saying "Without you, there were no universities, schools, bread or water… without you, Syria was a matter of refugees, perhaps abroad… without you, we all were slaves for the states which want us to bow." President al-Assad affirmed that throughout history, the Syrian people have never accepted to be salves, this has never happened in the last history, not in the present and it is not allowed to be in the future. "Our motto has always been martyrdom or victory, but, since the outbreak of the battles, our motto became victory… martyrdom is a destiny.. But our target is victory.. All the people await for the victory through the Syrian army, so we have to stand hand in hand, and as you stand by the people, so the people stand by you," the President added. President al-Assad was briefed by the officers and soldiers on the work of the operations of restoring security and stability to Daraya. They underlined their determination to continue work with all citizens to defeat Terrorism with no tolerance in facing the terrorists who seek to destabilize the Country's stability and weakening it.
Jul 31, 2013 3:37 PM CDT
heh-heh... 'turkey shoot' or 'fish in a bowl' from aj 'horseback shoot' which one y'all like better???
Jul 31, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
What on earth could be so bad that they would want to flee to Turkey, from where the Islamist headchoppers pour into Syria, having served Corporate America's interests in Libya? http://www.prisonplanet.com/yes-we-can-obama-funding-syrian-rebels-beheading-christians-using-child-soldiers.html