NATO condemns Syrian attack against Turkey

As a result of the incident in which five Turkish citizens were killed and more than 13 others wounded by Syrian artillery shells landing in the southeastern town of Akcakale yesterday, an extraordinary meeting of the NATO Council was immediately held.

Condemning the incident, in a statement released following the extraordinary meeting, NATO said, "In view of the Syrian regime’s recent aggressive acts at NATO’s southeastern border, which are a flagrant breach of international law and a clear and present danger to the security of one of its Allies, the North Atlantic Council met today, within the framework of Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, and discussed the continuous shelling of locations in Turkey adjacent to the Turkish-Syrian border by the Syrian regime forces.

The alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally, and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law."

Speaking on the issue, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said repeatedly that NATO has no intention of intervening in Syria but stood ready to defend NATO member Turkey, if necessary.

Furthermore, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged the Syrian government to respect the territorial integrity of its neighbors and warned that the 18-month-long conflict in Syria is increasingly harming other countries in the region.

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