BEIRUT, Oct 6: Turkey and Syria traded artillery fire for the fourth day in a row Saturday as rebels clashed with President Bashar Assad’s forces near the border, heightening fears that the crisis could erupt into a regional conflict.    

Also Saturday, Syrian Defence Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij vowed to crush the rebellion and bring the violence that has engulfed the country to an end.

The diplomatic crisis began on Wednesday, when a Syrian shell killed five civilians in a Turkish border town and triggered unprecedented artillery strikes by Turkey. Ankara has deployed more troops to its southern border with Syria, and has responded to each shell that has struck Turkish soil with its own artillery barrage.—AP

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