Turkey debates military action in Syria after civilian deaths
Thursday, October 04, 2012 - 01:38
Oct. 4 - World leaders urge level-headedness and express solidarity with Turkey as Ankara debates military action in Syria after Syrian mortar fire killed five Turkish civilians. Sarah Sheffer reports.
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The Turkish residential neighborhood devestated yesterday when mortar fire launched from Syrian territory killed five civilians.
Ankara has launched ongoing retaliatory fire on Syrian military targets since the incident, killing several Syrian soldiers.
Turkey's government said "aggressive action" against its territory by Syria's military had become a serious threat to its national security and sought parliamentary approval for the deployment of Turkish troops beyond its borders.
A small group of anti-war protesters in Ankara were tear gassed on Thursday as they marched to parliament, chanting "We don't want war!" and "The Syrian people are our brothers!"
But parliamentarians there may extend a five-year-old authorisation for foreign military operations, an agreement originally intended to allow strikes on Kurdish militant bases in northern Iraq.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed solidarity with Turkey, but urged caution.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING:
"The Turkish response is understandable. An outrageous act has taken place, Turkish citizens have been killed inside Turkey by forces from another country, so we express our strong solidarity with Turkey, but we don't want to see a continuing escalation."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle echoed Hague's sentiments, calling for levelheadedness and imploring the UN Security Council to work towards a political solution for the ongoing crisis.
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