Turkey in rush to build automatic “shooting towers” along Syrian border

Turkey has reacted to cross border attacks by Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria by expediting the construction of "shooting towers" that automatically challenge intruders and open fire if they don’t retreat.

The country’s defence ministry plans to build one of these towers every 300m along its southern border to prevent illegal crossing, Turkish news site Yeni Safak reports. The decision follows rocket attacks by IS that killed dozens of civilians in the border city of Kilis (pictured).

The Defence Ministry said the construction was proceeding at full speed.

Turkey has already closed hundreds of kilometres of the border with concrete blocks or wire fencing.

In the border city of Kilis, the construction of a concrete wall is nearly complete, and work is about to begin on the towers, Yeni Safak reported.

A computerised system in the towers will warn anyone who approaches within 300m that they are about to be shot and should therefore leave immediately. If they do not, the system automatically opens fire.

The warnings will be given in three languages.

Turkish weapons maker Aselsan will install the system, comprising machine guns, thermal cameras, and alert systems.

According to the ministry the smart towers will be established across Turkey’s entire Syrian border.

The Turkish army has already deployed artillery along the border, as well as military drones. The authorities have said that hundreds of IS fighters have been killed in recent shelling.

Image: Kilis in southern Turkey, where dozens have been killed by rockets from Syria (Wikimedia Commons)

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