Turkey bombs Syrian targets after cross-border attack
Turkey has shelled targets in Syria in retaliation for cross-border mortar fire that killed five Turkish nationals in the southeastern border region of Akcakale earlier in the day, the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Turkey has shelled targets in Syria in retaliation for cross-border mortar fire that killed five Turkish nationals in the southeastern border region of Akcakale earlier in the day, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Syrian shells killed five people in a Turkish town near the border earlier in the day, prompting Ankara to contact the UN over the incursion, which it said went "too far".
"Five people, including a mother and her three children, were killed. We also have nine wounded," said Abdulhakim Ayhan, the mayor of Akcakale, where the shells exploded after being fired from Tall al-Abyad just across the border in Syria.
Although fire from months of Syrian unrest has hit territory inside Turkey on several occasions since the uprising began against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March 2011, Wednesday's attack marked only the second time that people have died as a result.
Turkey quickly contacted the United Nations over what Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said was an incident that "is very serious and goes too far".
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu contacted UN chief Ban Ki-moon as well as the UN's special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, over the incident.
Davutoglu cleared his schedule and chaired an emergency meeting at the foreign ministry to deal with the incident, it said.
NATO ambassadors are to urgently convene later on Wednesday.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)