- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Pentagon expressed support Wednesday for NATO member Turkey, whose forces shelled targets in Syria in response to a Syrian mortar attack on a Turkish border town that killed five civilians.

“This is yet another example of the depraved behavior of the Syrian regime, and why it must go. We regret the loss of life in Turkey, a strong ally, and continue to monitor the situation closely,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement Wednesday.

The outbreak of violence between the two neighboring countries raised alarm in Washington.

NATO’s Washington Treaty provides that if a NATO ally is the victim of an armed attack, other members of the alliance will take necessary actions to assist.

Mr. Little deferred comment to NATO on questions regarding to U.S. obligations under the treaty.

NATO issued a statement Wednesday calling Syria’s actions “a flagrant breach of international law and a clear and present danger to the security of one of its Allies.”

“In the spirit of indivisibility of security and solidarity deriving from the Washington Treaty, 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,”the alliance said.