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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid