DEBKAfile’s military sources: Syrian troops were ordered Saturday to withdraw out of artillery range to a 10km line from the Turkish border as Turkish artillery again fired into Syria for the fourth day. This was in immediate response to another Syrian mortar shell which landed in a village in the southern Hatay province. No one was hurt. Thursday, Oct. 4, our exclusive sources first disclosed that Turkey had begun clearing a 10-km deep strip on the Syrian of the border to make it safe for free Syrian rebel movement.
Later, the London Guardian quoted “Turkish media” as disclosing that Syria had agreed to move its forces 10 km back from the Turkish border, including aircraft, to stay clear of Turkish fire. The cross-border clashes began Wednesday when Syrian mortar shells killed five Turkish civilians.
DEBKAfile’s sources: Damascus’s hand is being forced, pushed by a Western-backed Turkish initiative to carve out a narrow Syrian buffer strip by subjecting it to artillery fire.