Shots are being fired back and forth between Turkey and Syria today.
The current episode of conflict began earlier today when mortar rounds from Syria exploded in the Turkish border town of Akcakale. A mother and her three children, as well as one other resident, were killed and 9 others were wounded in the strike.
Turkey has retaliated with artillery fire and an appeal to NATO.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s office released a statement.
“Our armed forces in the border region immediately retaliated against this heinous attack… by shelling the targets spotted by radar. Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security.”
The US condemned the attack and NATO has expressed its “strong condemnation”.
Russia Today reports That NATO is responding to Turkey’s call for assistance.
NATO’s North Atlantic Council has convened tonight to discuss the shelling of the Turkish town. The meeting has been held under article 4 of NATO code, concerning consultations when a member state feels territorial integrity is under threat, officials say.
In the official statement, NATO urged Syria to put end to “flagrant violations of international law,” saying that it stands by Turkey. “The Alliance strongly condemns Syrian aggressive acts against Turkey,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on his Twitter account.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the act, saying “We are outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border.“
Turkey’s foreign minister has scheduled an emergency meeting to deal with the situation. This is the first time throughout the 18 month conflict that Turkey has fired into Syria.
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