Syria Has Fired More Than 20 Ballistic Missiles: NATO

Video footage shows Syrian rebels in control of a military tank last week in Idlib province. The Assad regime has fired in excess of 20 ballistic missiles at opposition forces in the last month, NATO said on Monday (AP Photo/Shaam News Network).
Video footage shows Syrian rebels in control of a military tank last week in Idlib province. The Assad regime has fired in excess of 20 ballistic missiles at opposition forces in the last month, NATO said on Monday (AP Photo/Shaam News Network).

NATO on Monday said the Syrian military had fired in excess of 20 tactical ballistic missiles at rebel forces in recent weeks, including another one on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The Western military bloc did not disclose whether the detected missiles were Scuds though known information about their use fits with the characteristics of the Soviet-era missile, which the Bashar Assad regime is known to possess in considerable numbers.

"We've detected the launch of several unguided short-range ballistic missiles this month, including one on Sunday," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said to journalists. "Altogether over the last 30 days we've seen that over 20 short-range ballistic missiles have been fired by the regime forces," she added.

The missiles were evidently launched at rebel forces. A number of the weapons hit areas "quite close" to Turkey, the spokeswoman said.

Syria's ballistic missile attacks come as NATO is in the middle of fielding six Patriot air- missile defense batteries in Turkey.  Ankara requested the units last year as a means of protection against ballistic missiles and other airborne threats from Syria.

A shell evidently launched from inside Syria on Monday struck Turkish territory located not far from a center for people fleeing the Syrian civil war, Reuters reported.

Turkey's state operated news organization reported no one was injured in the first known incident of Syrian shelling of Turkish land in a number of weeks. The mortar round is understood to have crashed near the town of Akcabaglar, which is close to the Kilis refugee center.

 
January 14, 2013
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NATO on Monday said the Syrian military had fired in excess of 20 tactical ballistic missiles at rebel forces in recent weeks, including another one on Sunday, Reuters reported.