Turkish artillery fired on Syrian targets Wednesday after shelling from Syria struck a border village in Turkey, killing five civilians, sharply escalating tensions between the two neighbors and prompting NATO to convene an emergency meeting.
“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 government said in a statement from the prime minister’s office.
The artillery fire capped a day that began with four bombs tearing through a government-held district in Syria’s commercial and cultural capital of Aleppo, killing more than 30 people and reducing buildings to rubble.
Along the volatile border, a shell fired from inside Syria 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.
The shelling appeared to come from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, which is fighting rebels backed by Turkey in an escalating civil war.
“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.
Turkish media said Turkey has prepared a parliamentary bill for Syria that is similar to one that authorizes the Turkish military to intervene in northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish militants who have bases there. The bill is expected to be discussed in parliament on Thursday, Anadolu agency reported.
If approved, the bill could more easily open the way to unilateral action by Turkey’s armed forces inside Syria, without the involvement of its Western and Arab allies.
NATO’s National Atlantic Council, which is composed of the alliance’s ambassadors, held 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.”
At this point in history, nothing is as it seems on the surface.
Whatever happened here sure seems to be paving the way for "foreign intervention" to take place. NATO is meeting, the EU is meeting, the UN is weighing in, Turkey is outraged and it is all being directed to the Assad regime. And it is all highly public.
Turkey's military struck targets inside Syria on Wednesday in response to a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory which killed five Turkish civilians, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office said in a statement.
"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 said.
Davutoglu had also agreed with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the need for an emergency meeting of NATO members, the statement said.
The mortar bomb fired from Syria landed in a residential district of the southeastern Turkish town of Akcakale earlier Wednesday, killing a woman and four children from the same family and wounding at least eight other people.
A cloud of dust and smoke rose up over low-rise buildings as residents ran to help the wounded. Others, infuriated by the increasing spillover of violence from Syria's civil war, took to the streets shouting protests against the local authorities.
"The Secretary-General calls on the Syria Government to respect fully the territorial integrity of its neighbors as well as to end the violence against the Syrian people," Ban's press office said in a statement.
The internalional vice is most definitely tightening around Syria. One could say that they are reaching a desperation point in this scenario. Should we add "Big Desperation = Big Desperate Acts" to the "Big Crisis = Big Change" mantra?
Now, in addition to Syria's Assad regime under enoumous pressure, we see their biggest ally also under mounting pressure:
Iranian riot police clashed with protesters in Tehran on Wednesday as public anger over economic problems in the sanction-hit country erupted onto the street. The protests were the most dramatic in Iran since bitter demonstrations erupted after the 2009 presidential elections.
Thousands of people took to the streets, and TV footage showed the protesters shouting slogans of “Death to the corrupt regime” and “Get out of Syria, and start taking care of us” — a reference to Iranian involvement in helping President Bashar Assad repel Syrian rebel efforts to oust his regime.
Iranian officials have faced increasing public anger over the plummeting rial and rising prices, blamed partly on Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The city’s main bazaar was shuttered, reportedly in support of the demonstrations, as protesters gathered to rally against government policies that have led to the devaluation of its currency, the rial, which has hit a record low against the US dollar.
It could also bring more political heat on Ahmadinejad, who has been left severely weakened after unsuccessfully challenging Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over the powers of the presidency. Ahmadinejad now could face increasing domestic attacks before elections, including possibly being called before parliament for questioning over the currency upheavals.
So we have two regimes who are finding themselves under mounting pressure, both internally and externally. We also know that both of these regimes will ultimately be engaged in major war efforts against Israel and probably soon (Syria: Isaiah 17 and Iran: Ezekiel 38-39).
Big Desperation = Big Desperate Acts.
Israel is a common enemy and in the neighborhood.
Thise dots are pretty easy to connect.