News / Middle East

Turkey Returns Fire After Syrian Shelling of Border Town

Smoke rises over the streets after an mortar bomb landed from Syria in the border village of Akcakale, southeastern Sanliurfa province, October 3, 2012.
Smoke rises over the streets after an mortar bomb landed from Syria in the border village of Akcakale, southeastern Sanliurfa province, October 3, 2012.
Dorian Jones
The Turkish military on Wednesday shelled targets in Syria after shelling from Syria hit a border village in Turkey, killing at least five people and wounding nine others. 

The escalating tensions between the two neighbors prompted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to convene an emergency meeting in Brussels late Wednesday at Turkey's request.  NATO called on Syria to respect international law.

Late Wednesday, a mortar shell hit the Turkish town of Akcakale.

Ankara immediately blamed Syrian forces for the attack.  A statement issued by the Turkish prime minister's office said Turkey's military had responded by shelling targets in Syria in response to what it called a "heinous attack."  The statement said the response was within international law and rules of engagement.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned of a growing escalation in the Syrian conflict.  From New York, he called on the Syrian government to "respect fully the territorial integrity of its neighbors as well as to end the violence against the Syrian people."

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the situation "very, very dangerous."

"We are outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border.  We are very regretful about the loss of life on the Turkish side," said Clinton.

Clinton said "all responsible nations need to band together" to persuade the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "to have a cease-fire, quit assaulting their own people and begin the process of a political transition.''

Turkey is stepping up its diplomatic efforts for international support.  Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke by telephone with Secretary-General Ban and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.  Ankara has been pressing for international intervention in Syria, since the shoot down in June of a Turkish warplane by Syrian forces.

NATO has resisted such calls, but following this latest Syrian attack, analysts say Ankara will likely increase its pressure on the alliance to take action.  NATO later issued a statement condemning the attack.  NATO said "the alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally."  NATO also called on "the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law."

With fighting intensifying in Syria and moving closer to Turkey’s border, instances of violence across the border into Turkey have increased.

Ankara repeatedly has stressed that it will act within international law and not intervene unilaterally in Syria.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid