The office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed to Reuters that it had struck targets within Syria in response to an earlier shelling of a Turkish border town. Five people died in the Syrian mortar strike, including a woman and four children. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says the back and forth shows how the Syrian conflict is harming Syria’s neighbors. Erdoğan has agreed to convene an emergency meeting of NATO members in Brussels to discuss the incident and the possibility of further response.
“Our armed forces in the border region responded immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against places in Syria identified by radar,” the statement from Erdoğan’s office said. “Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security.”
NATO issued a statement calling Syria’s attack “a flagrant breach of international law and a clear and present danger to the security of one of [NATO’s] Allies.” The statement adds: “In the spirit of indivisibility of security and solidarity deriving from the Washington Treaty, 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.”
Reuters reports: Syria says it’s investigating the source of a shell that hit Turkey, extends condolences to the Turkish people.