Turkish deaths by Syrian shelling leads to cross border threat
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has condemned the shelling by Syrian government forces which resulted in the deaths of five civilians in Turkey. The move came with the support of the Russian government but only after a number of amendments had been made to the original text.
The Syrian representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari, gave Syria’s “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims “and to the friendly and brotherly people of Turkey” but failed to apologise for the breach of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Turkey. Turkish newspapers are reporting that Syria has now apologised to Turkey but have not indicated how the apology was given.
Meanwhile the Turkish parliament voted by 320 to 129 to authorise Turkish military forces to carry out cross border operations. Although Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has assured that this is not a precursor to war but instead a mandate for deterrence the fear remains that any Turkish intervention could lead to an escalation in hostilities between the two countries.
In Aleppo the battle continued between government forces and the rebels and across the country around 96 people are reported to have been killed. So far the 18 month conflict has killed an estimated 31,000 Syrians.