These Are The Weapons That Could Set Off War Between Syria And Turkey

M198 HowitzerA US M198 Howitzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Turkey and Syria have now been exchanging mortar fire for six consecutive days as Syria’s civil war spills over the 550-mile long border it shares with Turkey. The Turkish military has been preparing for this.

In June, after Syria shot down a Turkish fighter jet, Turkey sent a convoy of more than 30 military vehicles carrying missile batteries, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft artillery, anti-aircraft guns, military ambulances as well as troops to the Syrian border. It’s unclear what variety of weapons the Turks are using, but those links offer examples of each.

In late September Turkey’s private Dogan news agency reported that a six-vehicle convoy moved three Howitzers and an anti-aircraft gun to the border as shells from Syria began landing in Turkish towns near the border.

A Howitzer is a large gun that fires heavy shells, relatively short distances, at pretty steep angles. Howitzer shells come in many different varieties, but are most commonly high explosive.

Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency reports that the military deployed additional tanks and missile defence systems to the Syrian border on Sunday. Last week Turkey’s parliament authorised sending troops across the border. 

Bloomberg reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told state-run television on Oct. 6 that the five civilian deaths in a Turkish border town on Oct. 3 were caused by a D30 type, 122mm artillery shell, which is used by the Syrian army.

To give you an idea of what goes into firing these things, here’s the Afghan National Army firing a 122mm Howitzer.

And to provide an idea of what this type of shell can do, here’s a video of U.S. combat engineers destroying a 122 mm artillery round in Iraq—the shrapnel actually hits their Humvee:

A Turkish newspaper Milliyet speculated that Turkish F-16 warplanes may strike Syrian artillery batteries with if Syrian shells cause new casualties, according to Bloomberg.

SEE ALSO: These Are The Weapons Facing Any Country That Intervenes In Syria >

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