Panetta: Syria clash with Turkey may escalate

October 6, 2012 • World News

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta attends a ceremony at army headquarters in Lima, Peru, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Panetta is in Lima on an official visit for one day. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — The continued exchange of artillery fire between Syria and Turkey raises additional concerns that the conflict may escalate and spread to neighboring countries, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Saturday.

Panetta said the U.S. is using its diplomatic channels to relay worries about the fighting in the hopes that it will not broaden.

His comments came on the heels of warnings from Turkey’s prime minister that his country is not far from war with Syria.

Turkish and Syria traded artillery fire Saturday as rebels clashed with President Bashar Assad’s forces near the border, heightening the fears that the crisis could erupt into a regional conflict. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday Login to read more

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