UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Monday strongly condemned deadly weekend car bombings in Turkey, saying it was crucial “to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.”
Two car bombs ripped through crowded shopping streets in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli on Saturday, killing 50 people and increasing fears that Syria’s civil war is dragging in neighboring states, despite renewed diplomatic moves to end it.
The 15-member Security Council urged all states to cooperate with Turkish authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. Turkey said it has arrested nine people, all Turkish citizens and including the alleged mastermind of the attacks.
Turkey, which is home to some 400,000 Syrian refugees from the conflict, blamed the bombings on a group with direct links to Syrian intelligence. Damascus has denied any involvement.
In a statement, the Security Council said, “Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”
A dispute between Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the United States over how to end Syria’s two-year war has left the Security Council paralyzed to act.
Russia has been backing and arming Assad, while the United States and Europe have supported the opposition with what they say is non-lethal aid and called for Assad’s departure.
While Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad’s government, the council has occasionally condemned violent attacks in Syria. In its statement on the bombings in Turkey on Monday, the council was careful not to assign blame to either side in the conflict.
A Syrian opposition group says the toll from two years of civil war had risen to at least 82,000 dead and 12,500 missing. Five million people have fled their homes, including 1.4 million refugees in nearby countries, the United Nations says.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Cynthia Osterman