Syrian War Spreading? Car Bomb Explodes on Syrian Border, Turkish-Syrian Tensions Escalate

Syria Turkey

Smoke rises from the Syrian side of the border after a Turkish air force jet downed a Syrian military helicopter at the Turkey-Syria border near Hatay province, Turkey, Sept. 16, 2013.

Yesterday, Turkish F-16s shot down a Syrian helicopter after it crossed over into Turkish territory.  Today, a car bomb exploded on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkey border, injuring at least a dozen civilians.  Syrian rebels are accusing the Turkish government of having pro-Assad sentiments, and intervening in their civil war.

Reuters reports,

(Reuters) – A car bomb exploded on the Syrian side of the main Bab al-Hawa crossing with Turkey on Tuesday and at least a dozen people were taken to nearby hospitals, Syrian opposition activists on the border said.

The explosion occurred at a roadblock manned by Islamist brigades at the entrance of the rebel-held crossing, several hundred meters from the Turkish side, they added.

Pictures taken by activists on the scene showed several burnt and mangled cars and an engine block that apparently flew to the side of the road from the vehicle.

“The objective is to destabilize security at the crossing. The casualties are all civilians, from the people queuing to cross,” said Omar Aref, one of the activists.

The explosion came a day after Turkey shot down a Syrian helicopter that had entered Turkish airspace.

The Syrian army said the shooting was “hasty” and accused the Turkish government, which backs the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, of trying to escalate tensions along the border.

Conflict in the Middle East invariably spreads.  A region-wide conflagration is just one misplaced bomb away.

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