In an unprecedented move, the Turkish military has struck targets inside of Syria to retaliate against a Syrian mortar attack that killed five members of a family in Turkey.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said the strike was within the international rules of engagement.
“These provocations against the safety of Turkey will not remain unanswered,” said the Turkish Prime Ministry in a statement, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. “We have responded to the attack, and bombed targets in Syria.”
The response was carried out by Turkey’s armed forces near its border and amounted to “self-defense,” the statement adds.
The United Nations Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon were notified of the attack, while a NATO meeting will be conducted in the coming hours.
The Syrian mortar shelling of the home in Turkey drew international condemnation.
“We are outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border. We are very regretful about the loss of life that has occurred on the Turkish side,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a transcript.
Clinton described the incident as a “very, very dangerous situation,” while more needs to be done to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power before the violence inside the country gets worse.
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