July 22, 2019 / 8:43 PM / a month ago

Rocket fired from inside Syria wounds five in Turkish border town - governor

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Five people were lightly wounded after one of two rockets thought to be fired from within Syria landed on a house in a Turkish border town on Monday night, the provincial governor’s office said.

The Defence Ministry said on Twitter that Turkish forces had responded to the rocket fire and had hit seven targets on the Syrian side of the border.

The precise origin of the rockets or who fired them was not immediately clear.

The five people wounded were taken to a hospital and were being treated, Sanliurfa governor’s office said in a statement.

Extensive security measures had been taken in the Ceylanpinar district in southern Sanliurfa province where the rocket landed and an investigation had begun, the statement said.

Syrian Democratic Forces, which is backed by the United States and spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, controls much of northern and eastern Syria.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, which has led an insurgency against the Turkish state since the 1980s.

Ankara has carried out two operations inside Syria against the YPG. Turkey is working with Washington to establish a safe zone in northern Syria, which it wants to be cleared of the YPG.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that if a planned safe zone in northern Syria is not established and if threats continue against Turkey, Ankara would launch a military operation east of the Euphrates river.

Separately, three explosions hit areas controlled by Turkish forces and their rebel allies within Syria throughout the day on Monday and two others hit after the rocket, according to a Reuters witness. One Syrian citizen who worked for the Turkish aid organisation IHH was killed, civil defence in the area said.

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen, Sarah Dadouch and Khalil Ashawi in al-Bab in Syria; editing by Grant McCool and Leslie Adler

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