Turkey fires on Syrian targets in retaliation
Ankara: In retaliation to Syrian shelling that killed five Turk civilians, Turkey on Wednesday attacked targets in Syria with artillery fire, raising the heat between two nations.
Turkish artillery fire came after Syrian shelling overreached the border and landed on a home in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing a woman, her three daughters and another woman, and wounding at least 10 others, according to Turkish media.
"Our armed forces have given the required response in line with the rule of engagements. Targets detected by radar were shot by shelling," the Turkish government said in a statement.
"Turkey, acting within the rules of engagement and international laws, will never leave unreciprocated such provocations by the Syrian regime against our national security," the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement.
In a day that was dominated by violence and bloodshed, four suicide bombings rocked a main square in Syria's commercial and cultural capital of Aleppo killing over 48 people and reducing buildings to rubble.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. was "outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border," adding that she would speak with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the matter.
"It's a very, very dangerous situation," Clinton said. "And all responsible nations need to band together to persuade the Assad regime to have a cease-fire, quit assaulting their own people and begin the process of a political transition."
Turkey also lodged a strong protest with NATO prompting National Atlantic Council to convene an emergency meeting in Brussels Wednesday night at Turkey's request to discuss the cross-border incident.
The meeting ended with a statement strongly condemning the attack and saying: "The alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally." It also urged the Syrian regime to "put an end to flagrant violations of international law."
NATO also held an emergency meeting when a Turkish jet was shot down by Syria in June, killing two pilots.