News / Middle East

    Turkey Renews Syria Strikes After Deadly Cross-Border Shelling

    A man carrying a girl walks past by the damaged house where five Turkish civilians were killed by a mortar bomb in the southern border town of Akcakale, October 4, 2012.
    A man carrying a girl walks past by the damaged house where five Turkish civilians were killed by a mortar bomb in the southern border town of Akcakale, October 4, 2012.
    VOA News
    Turkey is continuing its response to a deadly Syrian mortar attack, launching artillery strikes into Syria for a second straight day while the Turkish parliament considers a measure authorizing foreign military operations.

    An aide to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey is not interested in war with Syria, but will retaliate when necessary.

    The shelling Thursday targeted the same area Turkish forces identified as the source of the Syrian mortars.  Five Turkish civilians died Wednesday when the mortars landed in a residential area in Akcakale.

    Turkish officials and the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the retaliatory strikes near the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad have killed Syrian soldiers, but did not specify how many.

    The measure before Turkey's parliament says Syria has carried out "aggressive" actions against Turkish soil despite repeated warnings and diplomatic initiatives.  It says there is now a need to act quickly in the face of additional risks and threats.

    Turkey already has a law authorizing military intervention against separatist Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

    Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said Damascus is investigating the origin of the mortar fire, and that Syria offers its condolences to the Turkish people.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that Ankara acted within international law and will never fail to retaliate for what he called Syrian provocations against Turkey's national security.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington is "outraged" at the Syrian mortar strike on Turkey, a fellow member of the NATO alliance.

    Turkey sent the U.N. Security Council a letter calling for "necessary action" to stop "aggression" by Syria. U.N. diplomats said the Council was discussing a possible statement in reaction to cross-border attacks.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Syria to respect the territorial sovereignty of its neighbors.  He said the escalation shows how the Syrian conflict is increasingly harming neighboring states.

    The U.S. Defense Department said the Akcakale incident is another example of what it called the "depraved behavior of the Syrian regime."  It said the United States stands by Turkey as a "strong ally."

    NATO ambassadors held an urgent meeting in Brussels Wednesday at Turkey's request, and issued a statement demanding the "immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally." NATO also urged the Syrian government to "end flagrant violations of international law."

    International Leaders React to Syria Situation

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    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
    October 04, 2012 4:19 PM
    The NATO should NOT be dragged into an inter-Muslim/Turkey-Syria war. The NATO should NOT 'own' nor support Turkey's anti-KURD moves in Syria and Iraq. ***** For the information of ***Dennis from Kansas City*** below: Turkey has occupied Northwestern Kurdistan, an area that forms one-fourth of 'Turkey' and the homeland of 20 million Kurds under Turkish boots.

    by: Steve from: Maryland
    October 04, 2012 4:05 PM
    The situation in Syria is very fluid at the moment. I believe that any country has the right to defend itself and if the news media is telling the truth (one must read NY Times, Provda & Al Jezzera & judge) Turkey has given a very measured response. My heart aches for the Syrian and Turkish people who are caught up in this. Foreign rhetoric is not helpful. The U.S. should definately not intervene unless Turkey itself as a NATO country requests help. I am of the opinion that the problems of Syria need to be handled by the Arab league. The United Nations, Europe, Russia and the United States need to stay out of it. It is common knowledge that the US will defend Israel and Turkey against invasion. Mr. Putin will continue to support the Assad regime. Such is life. Deal with it.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 04, 2012 11:22 AM
    Clinton was talking tough here. One thinks American military has been badly weakened to face any Arab uprising in the Middle East. Yes. Obama has very expressed that position many times, especially when confronted with Benjamin Netanyahu's incessant demand to remove the Iranian threat to Israel. Or does Clinton mean here that America has military strength only when there is NATO backing? Somebody please tell me if really USA has become that weak and powerless.

    However, Turkey is not behaving like a true regional big brother. This is not a way to be a big regional player, shooting at an already wounded Syria. Turkey must find a way of rallying the regional players instead of being centrifugal as it is at the moment playing to the gallery.

    by: I from: Las vegas
    October 04, 2012 5:36 AM
    Its okay when turkey retaliates when mortars come from their fellow Muslim bro thers in Syria and kill their citizens. But not alright when Israel does the same.? When rockets and motar shells target their innocent civilian. Hypocrites .
    A
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    October 04, 2012 10:52 AM
    We do not know who is the author of the motar shell that killed turk civilians: Syrian troops or the rebels. So Turkey reaction is unjustified.
    In Response

    by: yup
    October 04, 2012 10:06 AM
    well, israel also anexes palastine and has millions of palastinians living in refugee camps. Hypocrites.
    In Response

    by: Dennis from: Kansas City
    October 04, 2012 9:39 AM
    With One big difference !...Turkey is not occupying someone else's land or oppressing their freedom ..

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