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Turkey authorizes military operations in Syria


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AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's Parliament authorized military operations against Syria on Thursday and its military fired on targets there for a second day after deadly shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border town.


For its part, Syria admitted it was responsible for the shelling that killed five people in Turkey and formally apologized for the deaths, a top Turkish official said.


Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said Syria has reassured the U.N. that "such an incident will not occur again."


The border violence has added a dangerous new dimension to Syria's civil war, dragging Syria's neighbors deeper into a conflict that activists say has already killed 30,000 people since an uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March 2011.




This could spin out of control very fast.

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NATO's Nightmare in Turkey

Reid Smith



Prefacing potential of regional conflagration, the Turkish parliament approved military response against Syria, after a Syrian mortar killed several civilians at a refugee camp in south-central Turkey. Two days of return fire marked a dramatic escalation in the simmering border crisis playing out atop an Ottoman fault-line.


The international response was predictable. At the Security Council, Russia stamped on strongly worded condemnations, while bickering diplomats fumbled with semantics. Things are considerably stickier at NATO headquarters, where higher-ups are weighing the fact that one of its members just suffered a flagrant attack. Turkey has exercised an “Article 4” motion, seeking consultation with member nations.


Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, representing the “major non-NATO ally” at an event in France, hastily reminded treaty partners that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on them all. The latter statement is confounded by the fact Israel is still technically at war with Syria (harkening back to the ’67 conflict) and undoubtedly antsy about complete meltdown in the marchlands.



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