German Chancellor Angela Merkel postponed her visit to the Turkish province of Kilis on the Syrian border after the city center of Kilis was hit by eight Katyusha rockets that were fired from a DAESH-controlled region in northern Syria in the last 48 hours.
Merkel had planned to visit Kilis on April 16 after the city was nominated for a Nobel Prize for hosting Syrian refugees. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Merkel would participate in a series of ceremonies to celebrate the start of various projects for Syrian refugees financed by the 3 billion euro fund to be provided by the EU, including the opening of new education centers, health facilities and schools in the town. However, a spokesman for the German Chancellor's office stated on Wednesday that Merkel has no plans to travel to Turkey this week to inaugurate the new center for Syrian refugees. Sources from the Prime Ministry confirmed that Merkel's visit will not take place on Saturday, stressing that Merkel has not formally canceled her visit but will postpone it until further notice.
Turkish officials pointed to eight DAESH Katyusha rockets that recently struck the city as the reason for the decision. As an active member of the U.S.-led anti-DAESH coalition, Turkey has always been a target for DAESH. Some 34 Katyusha rockets have hit the Kilis city center since the year began, killing six civilians and leaving 23 wounded.