Turkey retaliates after Syria attack

2012-10-03 22:50

Istanbul - Turkish artillery fired on Syrian targets after deadly shelling from Syria hit a Turkish border town on Wednesday, sharply raising tensions on a volatile border that has been crossed by tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country.

In a terse statement, the office of Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned shelling that hit the Turkish town of Akcakale, killing five local residents and wounding a dozen others. The shelling appeared to come from Syrian government forces who were fighting Syrian rebels backed by Turkey, which has called for the ousting of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Our armed forces at the border region responded to this atrocious attack with artillery fire on points in Syria that were detected with radar, in line with the rules of engagement," the Turkish statement said.

"Turkey, acting within the rules of engagement and international laws, will never leave unreciprocated such provocations by the Syrian regime against our national security," it said.

Turkey's NTV television said Turkish radar pinpointed the positions from where the shells were fired on Akcakale, and that those positions were hit.

"Turkey is a sovereign country. There was an attack on its territory. There must certainly be a response in international law... I hope this is Syria's last craziness. Syria will be called into account," said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

In Belgium, Nato's National Atlantic Council, which is composed of the national ambassadors, was holding an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday night at Turkey's request to discuss the cross-border incident. Turkey was likely to receive an expression of support from the alliance, although any imminent move by the Nato members to intervene militarily seems remote. 

Jet downed

Nato also held an emergency meeting when a Turkish jet was shot down by Syria in June.

A Nato official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of Nato rules, said the meeting in Brussels was being held under a treaty article that states "the parties will consult whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any of the parties is threatened".

Turkey, a Nato ally, is anxious to avoid going into Syria on its own. It has been pushing for international intervention in the form of a safe zone, which would likely entail foreign security forces on the ground and a partial no-fly zone.

However, the allies fear military intervention in Syria could ignite a wider conflict, and few observers expect robust action from the United States, which Turkey views as vital to any operation in Syria, ahead of the presidential election in November.

Turkey hosts more than 90 000 Syrian refugees in camps along its border, and also hosts Syrian opposition groups.

There is concern in Turkey that the Syrian chaos could have a destabilising effect on Turkey's own communities; some observers have attributed a sharp rise in violence by Kurdish rebels in Turkey to militant efforts to take advantage of the regional uncertainty.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-03 23:04

    The time has come for Nato to go after these assad terrorists. The ones who have not yet defected, their hands are dripping of Syrian blood!!!1

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-10-04 08:12

      were is the proof that it was the syrian government troops who fired the artillery. its western powers who are to blame so they want to militarily attack syria.

      sean.carbutt - 2012-10-04 12:09

      @khuliso, following your logic, then all cancer supporters should be shot on the spot, we can start with you. You know what, i would insult you, but you are to fawking stupid to understand it

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-04 00:31

    Turkey is NATO and the US messenger boy now doing all the dirty work for their new masters!Its no wonder they will strike back without first finding out the facts of who really fired that mortar round!This doesn't surprise any reasonable person as this is the same tactic that the US itself used when invading Iraq and we all know how wrong that was.One day the US will have to answer for all the pain and suffering it has inflicted on the world at large,as God is my witness!

      daniel.machet - 2012-10-04 01:22

      Um... radar pinpointed targets identified as firing the shells... within the international rules of engagement... maybe read the article first before commenting

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-04 04:11

      Dankie, It is very simple; One either supports a dictator or one supports the people!!! Sadly you have choosen to support the former. YOU are my witness , that one day EVERY SINGLE DICTATOR, has to answer for all the pain and suffering , he has inflicted, on 'his' people !!!!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-04 08:14

      daniel.machet you will believe any spin told to you by NATO and the US..I suppose you also believed that Iraq had WMD's you are so stupid it hurts!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-04 08:25

      antonyfrom africa,you obviously don't take you own advice..wake up you have had the wool pulled over your eyes by the war mongering west,don't blame anyone but yourself when the US backed countries in the middle East find themselves involved in a war that will change the peace in the middle East forever.Also don't think the US will come to the aid of these countries either when the chips are down.They are just puppets in the US strategy.Here in SA we were supported to go into Angola by the US using its CIA agency and when Russia threatened to send far stronger military presence the US told us to get out.Did not matter how many SADF troops lost their lives!It took pearl harbor to bring the Yanks into the 2nd world war..don't forget up until then the US congress did not want precious US lives to be lost fighting a European war..check your history or don't at your peril!If you are Jewish!Ask yourself why it was more important for Susan rice to have lunch then listen to the Israeli leader give his picture game speech!!

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-10-04 09:52

      Yes Anthony they will answer? Unless its a us backed dictatorship

      diana.gill.18 - 2012-10-04 10:22

      @duncs Hopefully the yanks wont be in time to destroy the world before we see them punished.

  • Tshepo Gwamanda - 2012-10-04 06:18

    This new foreign policy of the US under the Obama administration stinks!! This quiet diplomacy plan of the Obama administration - people are dying!!! The world is up in flames and the US just watches from the sidelines!!! We all know we don't have a watch body, the UN has proven to me they are useless as they come!!! And so is NATO, they will not do anything without the blessing of the EU and France will veto any strike action against Syria!!! So the whole world watches as people are being slaughtered by their own government!!! :-(

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-04 06:37

      If foreign military intervention is justified, why confine it to NATO?

      Tshepo Gwamanda - 2012-10-04 06:44

      NATO is involved, just not with military actions just yet! They offering support to the rebels in Syria!!

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-10-04 07:42

      tshepo, i dont know where you are from! I am a Turk and know what goes on here and in neighbouring syria. If your neighbouring countries harbour rebels and allow them to launch attacks from their soil on your country, would you sit down with folded arms and hope they wont do it again? The rebels orchastrated the so called attack on turkey. This is another ploy from Nato to retaliate and take military action against syria, claiming its ally, turkey, came under attack first! The Turkish Government are being used by US and Nato like a lapdog. And when they are done with turkey, it too will fall out of favour and come under attack! That is the normal trend! And the killing of defenseless citizens.... mostly by rebel forces to cause fear and panic amongst citizens not in agreement with them!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-10-04 08:42

      So Nato orchestrated a attack from within Syria against its ally as a pretext to get them to initiate military action in Syria . Why? What possible motivation is there that would jeopordise the very existance of the alliance? Seriously as a Turk I would be more concerned about what really did happen and not inventing more theories to fit your conspiratorial world view .

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-04 09:39

      @Ninja You have heard of false flag operations before. They do take place you know. Perhaps this is not one of them, but there is nothing wrong for a thinking person to raise such questions, and you ask why. It's simple really, it's a pretext to justify Nato involvement in Syria outside a UNSC resolution. Question everything, people lie and so do governments!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-10-04 11:22

      Sure its possible but these are being issued as statements of fact (if not with absolute certainty) to suite a predefined , unsubstantiated theory again . Thats not skepticism , thats gossip and conjecture. A theory can be simple and plausable but probable ? It plausable that Obama is a Saudi double-agent , but whats the likelyhood .

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-10-04 18:31

      @ninja, conjecture and gossip is what you are doing! What i commented is what i know first hand! As a political analyst in my region ,i get first hand information! I invite you to visit turkey from where i will cross you into syria, you can come to your own conclusion when you speak to citizens, military and rebels. After that i would like to read your comments!

  • derek.bredenkamp.3 - 2012-10-04 08:18

    This stinks of a set up. My money is on the rebels doing this just to give Turkey and it's Nato allies and execuse for war.

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-10-04 18:39

      derek, you are spot on! And i can tell you most turks knows this and thats why you wont hear ordinary people in turkey talk about syria being the aggressor!

  • philhaj - 2012-10-04 08:20

    interesting that in Syria Alqaeda and America are on the same side with america providing weapons.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-10-04 08:47

    War has never been "nice" but we have created long and drawn out conflicts and extended periods of human rights violations in our efforts to be civilized. It is time governments realize that the "scorched earth" policies of yesteryear were more effective and ended conflict much quicker. Its time to stop playing games and end these conflicts permanently

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-04 09:43

      Wars are meant to be fought perpetually as they provide bounty to the Military Industrialist. Wars means jobs in the western capitalist system and contracts for reconstruction for struggling corporations.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-10-04 11:45

      fidel - For that to be true then all market related data needs to be false , war impoverishes countries . No amount of contracts compares to the costs of war . The balance sheet is firmly in the red when it comes to war and not just in monetary terms.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-04 12:53

      They are not meant to benefit countries, but the corporations who fund politicians. It is an accepted fact that the US is $14 trillion in the red. The US defense department eats up about $700 billion p.a. The US has been in war for over ten years now and who do you suppose this budget has gone to, to the military industrialists, the corporations whose interests wars are fought for. War is a racket, a form of laundering money from the state to private corporations!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-10-04 13:28

      Thats 4 % of their GDP and by far not the highest percentage in comparison. Neither does impoverishing the public to enrich the few get you elected , the budget has gone to funding the war with the bulk to soldiers salaries , housing and equipment, break downs are freely available as well as estimations on wasted funds , fraud, committee minutes ect. I thinks its 16 trillion and they still rank about 175th on the public debt list by country so not as bad or ominous as made out.

  • diana.gill.18 - 2012-10-04 10:31

    The US are overestimating their present potential. They continuously loose their positions in whatever country they got themselves involved with. The minister of defense has admitted an Afghanistani campaign failure, they are getting sacked in Poland regarding the MDS policy, their georgian protegee is dismissed by his own people. Therefore it is no surprise they are trying to grab on a straw as they face an inevitable default and feel nothing to exercise the dirtiest tricks while they still have an opportunity for that.

  • tony.delucchi - 2012-10-04 11:31

    ...Ai, everyone is just talking turkey!

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