Attacks Increase Tension in Turkey and Syria
Tension between Turkey and Syria continued to rise Wednesday after several cross-border attacks.
Turkey launched artillery at specific targets within Syria, responding to earlier attacks that killed five civilians.
Artillery fired from within Syria by forces loyal to Pres. Bashar al-Assad hit a home in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing a woman and her three daughters and 11 others, according to reports by Turkish media.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Wednesday that it will hold a special meeting to discuss the escalating tension between the two countries.
The Turkish government claims to have informed both the United Nations and NATO before launching its counterstrike to demonstrate concern over the esclating violent situation.
"Our armed forces at the border region responded to this atrocious attack with artillery fire on points in Syria that were detected with radar, in line with the rules of engagement," the Turkish government said in a statement from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office.
The cross-border attacks bookended a day that began with four bombs killing more than 30 people in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's most populous city. A death toll provided by the Syrian government said the bombings killed 34 people and injured 122 while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 40 people were killed. There was no indication of which group coordinated the bombings, but the Syrian government attributed the attacks to opponents.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed outrage over the attacks.
"It's a very, very dangerous situation," Clinton said. "And all responsible nations need to band together to persuade the Assad regime to have a cease-fire, quit assaulting their own people and begin the process of a political transition."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.