NPR : News

Turkey Continues Bombardment Of Syrian Targets

The situation between Syria and Turkey escalated today, as Turkey continued its attack on targets inside Syria and the Turkish parliament gave the OK for military action outside its borders.

As we reported, Turkey is retaliating for a rocket attack that killed five civilians yesterday. The development is important because it could mean the conflict between rebels and the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has now become regional.

The New York Times has more details on today's attacks:

"Local news reports said Turkish shells fell inside Syria on at least 10 occasions after midnight, landing near the border town of Tel Abyad, some six miles inside Syrian territory, across a historic fault line where modern Turkey abuts Arab lands that once formed part of the Ottoman Empire. ...

"The exchanges sent tremors across a region fearful that the mounting violence in Syria will spill into neighboring countries. Ibrahim Kalin, a senior aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said in a Twitter feed: 'Turkey does not want war with Syria. But Turkey is capable of protecting its borders and will retaliate when necessary.' In a separate message, he said: 'Political, diplomatic initiatives will continue.'"

CNN reports that Russia, one of Syria's last remaining allies, called for restraint.

"Through our ambassador to Syria, we have spoken to the Syrian authorities who assured us ... that what happened at the border with Turkey was a tragic accident, and that it will not happen again," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said according to CNN. "We think it is of fundamental importance for Damascus to state that officially."

Jonathan Marcus, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, reports that the retaliation as well as the emergency NATO meeting called yesterday "represent a final warning to the authorities in Damascus - a signal that Turkey's patience has worn thin."

Marcus, however, says that neither NATO nor Turkey seem to want a protracted war with Syria, but another attack on Turkey could result in a stiffer response. Remember, tensions between the two country were already tense, especially after Syria shot down a Turkish warplane in June.

Update at 9:01 a.m. ET. An Apology From Syria:

The AP just moved this alert:

"Turkey's deputy prime minister says Syria has admitted it was responsible for the shelling that killed five civilians in Turkey and has formally apologized for the deaths.

"Besir Atalay says Thursday that Syria has reassured the U.N. that 'such an incident will not occur again.'"

Update at 7:58 a.m. ET. Parliament OKs Military Operations:

Reuters reports that Turkey's parliament has approved cross-border military operations, if they are deemed necessary by the government.

It's important to note that this is not a declaration of war.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

National Museum of African American History Opens Its Doors

More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening its doors in Washington, D.C.
NPR

While Everyone Was Partying At Woodstock, I Was Stuck At Schrafft's

The chain restaurant that catered to women helped redefine how Americans eat, according to a new book. For NPR's Lynn Neary, it also defined how she did and didn't fit with the counterculture.
NPR

Newspaper Endorsements Matter Most When They're Unexpected

The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton on Saturday, but an endorsement that came the day before from a smaller paper may matter more to its readers, for the simple fact that it was unexpected.
NPR

As Our Jobs Are Automated, Some Say We'll Need A Guaranteed Basic Income

How will the economy provide economic opportunities if employers need fewer workers in the future? A growing number of people in Silicon Valley are saying the only realistic answer is a basic income.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.