“This is the latest manifestation of a worsening situation,” said Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “This is not the only place it is spilling over. It is spilling over into Jordan, into Lebanon. They’re shelling on a daily basis. The difference today is it’s the first time we have a country calling Assad out.” [Washington Post]
AFTER MORTAR landed in Turkey killing 5 on Wednesday, today the parliament reacted, while stressing it was “not for war.” Syria has also apologized for the cross-border mortar attack.
Turkey’s parliament voted Thursday to authorize military cross-border operations into Syria, a day after an apparently errant mortar strike from inside Syria killed five Turkish civilians.
Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told the Associated Press that the 320-129 vote “is not for war,” but is intended to deter Syria from further violence that could spill over the border.
A government official says three suicide bombers detonated their explosives near an officers’ club in the Syrian city of Aleppo, trapping several bystanders under rubble. Another blast went off nearby, close to the Chamber of Commerce.
Atalay also said that Syria has taken responsibility and formally apologized for the death of the five Turkish civilians, and reassured the United Nations that “such an incident will not occur again,” AP reported.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a point of saying from Islamabad, Pakistan that Syria had to formally address the killings in Turkey as the “tragic accident” it was.
NATO issued a strong statement condemning Syria’s actions.
As stated on 26 June 2012, the Alliance continues to closely follow the situation in Syria. In view of the Syrian regime’s recent aggressive acts at NATO’s southeastern border, which are a flagrant breach of international law and a clear and present danger to the security of one of its Allies, the North Atlantic Council met today, within the framework of Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, and discussed the continuous shelling of locations in Turkey adjacent to the Turkish-Syrian border by the Syrian regime forces.
The most recent shelling on 3 October 2012, which caused the death of five Turkish citizens and injured many, constitutes a cause of greatest concern for, and is strongly condemned by, all Allies.
In the spirit of indivisibility of security and solidarity deriving from the Washington Treaty, the Alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an Ally, and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law.