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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid