POLITICS > Syria apologises for deadly shelling: Turkey minister


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Syria has admitted its shelling killed five civilians on Turkish soil, has apologised, and promised the incident will not be repeated, Turkey's deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

"The Syrian side has admitted what it did and apologised," Besir Atalay said after parliament authorised operations inside Syria in retaliation for the killing of five Turkish nationals in crossborder shelling on Wednesday.
Atalay said the authorisation was not a war cry but rather a "deterrent" against the Syrian army.
"This mandate is not a war mandate but it is in our hands to be used when need be in order to protect Turkey's own interests according to potential developments in the future," said Atalay in remarks televised by NTV news channel.
The deputy premier also said Syria assured that "such an incident would not be repeated," after a United Nations mediation between Ankara and Damascus.
The motion, valid for one year, was approved by 320 MPs in the 550-seat Turkish parliament in an emergency session. 129 lawmakers voted against it.
Vetoes came from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which earlier in the day branded the motion "a war initiation," as well as from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
The bill to allow the operation "when deemed necessary" was drafted at an urgent cabinet meeting late Wednesday, hours after Syrian shelling killed five civilians, including a mother and her three children, in the southeastern border town of Akcakale.
"Our soil has been the target of aggressive actions by the Syrian Arab Republic Armed Forces since September 20, and they continued despite our numerous warnings and diplomatic initiatives," the cabinet motion stated.
"A need has emerged to take necessary measures and to act in haste and in time in the face of additional risks and threats that may be directed against our country," it added.
The incident marked the first time that Turkish citizens had been killed by Syrian fire since the uprising against Assad's regime began in March 2011.
An infuriated Ankara immediately retaliated by pounding unspecified Syrian targets, killing several Syrian soldiers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which did not give an exact figure.
Turkey has also demanded that the UN Security Council take action against Damascus over Wednesday's fire, which drew sharp Western condemnation.


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Notice on comments

B Medic

10/4/2012 11:35:44 PM

@Blue, You keep on spreading your lies no matter what. According to UN's Human Rights Commissioners Report last month, most of the deaths in Syria have been caused by the Syrian military and not by the rebels. Most of the rebels are Syrian soldiers and civilians who have had enough of Al-Assad and not Foregin mercenaries as you claim and there is no evidence that Turkey is supporting them. Why do you keep defending them you Uncle Napoleon?

Zouqul H. Chowdhury Zouk

10/4/2012 10:37:31 PM

Dear Blue Dotterel: If Turkey is responsible for the deaths of 20,000 Syrians, Is Turkey responsible for more than 100,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon? Is Turkey also responsible for the bombardments that destroyed Syrian towns & cities?

Blue Dotterel

10/4/2012 10:02:08 PM

The Syrian government hasn't admitted anything at this time. It is investigating the incident and has apologized for it. This is just another example of an AKP official playing fast and loose with the truth.


10/4/2012 9:14:41 PM

"Syria has admitted its shelling killed five civilians on Turkish soil, has apologised, and promised the incident will not be repeated." This should be good enough to convince anyone. Turkey must stom shelling targets immediately. Regards

Shah Hamdan

10/4/2012 6:45:27 PM

What you people think Turkey is doing all this for Syrians? Its absolutely nonsense. Its all for energy supply routes. Turkey is gambling every thing what it gained in last half century. Turkish People haven't tasted war for last one century so feel comfortable about it. But if they want to learn then watch Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and feel what a war can do to them. Turkey was sowing what its cutting now and still a lot to come.

Blue Dotterel

10/4/2012 6:11:30 PM

Ahmetcan and Tamer, you are forgetting that Turkey is supporting with safe havens, arms and logistics the NATO mercenaries attacking the Syrian people. This too is an act of war. Turkey is largely responsible for over 20,000 Syrian deaths.

Ahmetcan Caglayan

10/4/2012 5:24:58 PM

Shah, shelling another country is a declaration of war. If I shot a military jet down, I'm 100% sure the government will hunt me down. This happened enough times, repeating the same mistake and apologizing will not be sufficient. Assad must go. It's Turkeys right for self defense.

Tamer Aslantas

10/4/2012 5:17:57 PM

Shah Hamdan Are you serious?

Shah Hamdan

10/4/2012 3:34:20 PM

What will happen if Syrian army retaliated against such raids.? What it will be an attack on Turkey and NATO member? AKP is thinking it can do any thing but others countries Syria and Iraq should sit and watch them performing. Turkish government is loosing sense with all her actions today and its an act of WAR.
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