(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The civil war in Syria has crossed the border into Turkey with a mortar shell landing in Turkish village near the Turk/Syrian boarder that killed five villagers. Turkey retaliated by shelling a Syrian village killing several Syrian soldiers stating that the stepped up aggression by Syria is a threat to Turkey’s security. The Turkish government, despite assurances from Russia and an apology from Syria that this was an accident, has now authorized military operations against Syria to protect its boarders:
Deputy prime minister Besir Atalay said parliament’s authorisation was not a declaration of war on Syria but gave Turkey the right to respond to any future attacks from Syria. “The bill is not for war,” Atalay said. “It has deterrent qualities.”
Cross-border tensions escalated on Wednesday after a shell fired from inside Syria landed on a home in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing two women and three of their daughters and wounding at least 10 others, according to Turkish media.
The bill opens the way for unilateral action by Turkey’s armed forces inside Syria without the involvement of Turkey’s western or Arab allies. Turkey has used a similar provision to repeatedly attack suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq.
Since Turkey is a member of NATO, that organization held an emergency meeting at its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium:
The unusual session of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels was demanded by Ankara, which has been pushing for a more muscular response from the western alliance to the atrocities in Syria. [..]
The Nato ambassadors issued a statement following the meeting, voicing their “greatest concern” and strong condemnation of the shelling, said to have killed a Turkish woman and her four children.
The Nato meeting was held under the alliance treaty’s article 4, asserting the integrity of the 28 members, rather than under article 5, which commits Nato to come to the defence of a member state under attack. [..]
The statement issued after Nato’s meeting in Brussels demanded an immediate halt to “aggressive acts” against Turkey.
The shelling from Syria “constitutes a cause of greatest concern for, and is strongly condemned by, all allies”, Nato ambassadors said in a statement, after they held a rare late-night meeting at Turkey’s request to discuss the incident.
“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,” the statement said.
In the same article from The GuardianThe Pentagon also issued a statement condemning Syria’s attack stating it was “closely monitoring the situation.”
In the current political climate in the United States with general elections underway and the war in Afghanistan winding down, it doesn’t appear that the Pentagon or the NATO countries are ready to engage in a military action in Syria. That’s not to say the Syria may force their hand. This could get very ugly