Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Turkish Army continues shelling positions in Syria

Policemen help two wounded colleagues after a Syrian mortar attack hit Turkey's southeastern town of Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, on October 3, 2012

Source: Press TV

Turkish forces continue shelling targets in Syria following a deadly cross-border attack on a town in southeast Turkey amid escalating tensions between the two neighbours.

Ankara said the attacks were in retaliation for a Syrian mortar strike that killed five people in Turkey's southeastern town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province earlier on Wednesday.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Ankara condemned the shelling as “a flagrant violation of international law,” and asked the world body to take action to stop such “acts of aggression.”

The Turkish parliament is due on Thursday to discuss a motion for cross-border military operations inside Syria "when deemed necessary."

NATO ambassadors also held an emergency late-night meeting in Brussels to discuss the Syrian shelling and the Turkish backfire.

The alliance blamed Syria for the incident and demanded Damascus end what it called aggressive acts against member-nation Turkey.

Meanwhile in a phone conversation, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Washington’s full backing for Ankara at NATO and the UN, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Separately, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "We stand with our Turkish ally and are continuing to consult closely on the path forward.”

The remarks came despite the Syrian government’s gesture to offer condolences to Turkish people over the deadly mortar attack and to launch an investigation into the source of the shelling.

Damascus also called for an end to the transfer of terrorists into Syria, which has been plagued by more than a year of deadly unrest.

Syria accuses certain Western and regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, of arming and funding insurgents fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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