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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Syria planes pound targets near Turkey, government warplanes operated uncomfortably close to Turkey's border


Syria planes pound targets near Turkey: As Syrian government warplanes operated uncomfortably close to Turkey’s ... 

Syrian warplanes pound targets near Turkey

By the CNN Wire Staff
November 14, 2012 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
A picture taken from the town of Ceylanpinar after a Syrian aircraft bombed the border town of Ras al-Ain, on November 13.
A picture taken from the town of Ceylanpinar after a Syrian aircraft bombed the border town of Ras al-Ain, on November 13.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Fighting has claimed the lives of 47 people Wednesday, an opposition group says
  • Turkey demands an end to attacks near its border after jets strike town of Ras al-Ain
  • U.S. adds $30 million more in aid for Syrians inside the country and those who've fled
(CNN) -- As Syrian government warplanes operated uncomfortably close to Turkey's border again Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed up American support for the opposition by adding to Washington's humanitarian aid.
Government jets pounded Ras al-Ain, a town near Turkey's border, for yet another day, shaking residents on the other side and triggering demands from Ankara that the Syrian military "stop this as soon as possible."
Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz told journalists Wednesday that the country would "respond to Syrian planes or helicopters that violate our borders."
"Our citizens, especially the residents of the (border]) regions, should stay calm. Our armed forces are on duty full time and the troops on the ground have been authorized to intervene immediately when necessary," the minister said.
Attacks on Ras al-Ain earlier in the week sent Syrians fleeing for the border. A total of 5,000 crossed into Turkey Monday and Tuesday, according to a Turkish government official, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak with the media.
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Government warplanes also bombarded Damascus and flashpoints in the country's north, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees.
So far Wednesday, fighting has claimed the lives of 47 people, the LCC said.
Clinton, speaking Wednesday from Perth, Australia, announced a $30 million injection of new food assistance for people inside Syria and refugees in neighboring countries, raising the total U.S. aid to $200 million.
France and the United States backed a new coalition of Syrian dissidents Tuesday, but Damascus slammed the group, saying any effort to topple President Bashar al-Assad will be futile.
After 20 months of relentless turmoil, rebel forces had not had a unified vision for the country or a military plan to oust al-Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than four decades. The United States and Arab nations pressured the groups to get on the same page.
The new coalition agreed that it wants al-Assad gone and that no one would talk with his government. Spokesman Mohammed Dugham said the only option now is a totally new government.
A total of 107,769 Syrian refugees have arrived in Turkey as of October 30, Turkey's state news agency Anadolu reported, citing Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The U.N. refugee agency says more than 408,000 Syrians have fledtheir country, and the number is rising.

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