The baby who died was born to Syrian parents yet his coffin was draped in a Turkish flag.

The family of 10-month-old Muhammed Omar gathered at a mosque in a Turkish border town for his funeral on Friday, a day after the infant was killed in a mortar strike near his home in Akcakale.

It was the cruellest form of collateral damage in a war that has consumed neighbouring Syria for more than eight years.

Not only was the victim so young but his mother and father had fled the fighting in their country to build a new life in Turkey, only for the violence to catch up with them.

The couple, who also have six daughters, had waited 17 years to bear a son.

A rocket fell inside, the mother said, barely able to speak with grief.

My two daughters were injured. There are in intensive care. My young son died.

Muhammed is the youngest known casualty on the Turkish side of the border since President Erdogan launched an offensive on Wednesday against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

The ground and air attack prompted the Kurds’ YPG militia, armed with US-supplied weapons and ammunition, to fight back.

They have fired mortars into Turkey, killing several civilians, according to the Turkish authorities.

That the baby of Syrian refugees was among the dead is a particularly unfortunate own goal for the Kurdish militia, if it was one of their rounds that inflicted the damage.

Local Turkish political figures, a police chief and other dignitaries turned out in force at the child’s funeral along with ordinary mourners.

The spectacle included various Turkish nationalistic statements, which is perhaps odd given that the family is from Syria and presumably is among those President Erdogan would wish to see returned home following his push to create a safe-zone along his border.

We are under attack, this is a war, said Mehmet Yalcinkaya, the mayor of Akcakale, speaking to journalists outside the mosque.

Everyone is seeing it and knows it but we are not afraid. As the mayor and an ex MP I am in front of you.

I stay in the city and sleep here. I am in the streets with you.

You can always reach me whenever you want. We are ready to respond to all your needs. But we have to defend ourselves. We cannot live forever with this terrorism.

Prayers were said for the child before his coffin was driven to a burial site a few hundred metres away.

Under the watch of armed guards, family and friends, the miniature coffin was buried.
(c) Sky News 2019: Refugees bury 10-month-old boy killed by rocket in Turkish border town