News / Middle East

UN Security Council Condemns Deadly Syrian Attack on Turkey

The United Nations Security Council (file photo)The United Nations Security Council (file photo)
x
The United Nations Security Council (file photo)
The United Nations Security Council (file photo)
VOA News
The U.N. Security Council has condemned a deadly Syrian artillery strike on a Turkish border town "in the strongest terms," while the Turkish military bombarded Syria for a second day in retaliation for the attack.

Syrian troops had shelled a residential area of the Turkish town of Akcakale on Wednesday, killing two women and three children. In a statement issued Thursday, the Security Council "demanded that such violations of international law stop immediately and are not repeated."

The Council statement also called on the Syrian government to "fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of its neighbors. It was a rare show of unity by the 15-nation body, which has long been divided about how to deal with Syria's 18-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia, a longtime ally of Mr. Assad, called for a Council statement that was less critical of Syria, while Western powers opposed to the Syrian president wanted tougher language.

Turkish security sources and Syrian opposition activists said Turkish forces fired more artillery at Syrian targets early Thursday, following an initial bombardment shortly after Syrian shells hit Akcakale the previous day. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Ankara's retaliatory strikes killed three Syrian soldiers near the border town of Tel Abyad. Syrian state media have not reported any casualties.

U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said the actions by Turkey, a fellow member of the NATO alliance, were "appropriate" and "proportional."

Speaking Thursday, she said the Turkish bombardments were "designed to strengthen the deterrent" effect against Syria.

The Turkish parliament overwhelmingly approved a law allowing its military to conduct further operations in Syria for a one-year period. After Thursday's vote, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey has no intention of starting a war, but is determined to defend its borders and citizens. He said prior to Wednesday's incident, Syrian fire struck Turkish territory seven times without Ankara retaliating.

Turkish officials also said Syria issued an apology for the Akcakale killings and a promise that such an incident will not happen again.

The Turkish government's tough stance on Syria drew domestic criticism on Thursday. At least 1,000 people joined an anti-government protest in Istanbul, chanting slogans calling for peace and accusing the ruling AK Party of wanting war.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all parties in the region to exercise "maximum restraint" and "exert all efforts to move toward a political solution."

Also Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian rebels killed 21 elite Syrian Republican Guards in Damascus province, in an ambush on an army minibus. Separately, troops loyal to President Assad shelled the northern city of Aleppo, a day after a series of bombings killed 48 people there.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs