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Turkey vows to protect its people after Syrian shelling
“The Turkish were reasonably restrained allowing it to go,” Mr. Hartwell said. “But with five civilians killed, it is a significant factor, and the Turkish parliament couldn’t be seen not to respond.”
In the vote by the 550-seat parliament authorizing military action, 320 lawmakers voted for the authorization and 129 against. Several dozen lawmakers abstained or were absent from the vote.
Muharrem Ince, a leading opposition member of the Republican People’s party, made an impassioned speech against the authorization and lashed out at members of the ruling Justice and Development Party.
“Which [ruling party] member’s child will go to war? Which parliamentarian’s child will go to war? Which minister’s child will go to war? I am asking you,” Mr. Ince said before the vote. “Our society will send their children to war and they will not be able to know the reason why — and this isn’t right.”
Since the early 1980s, Turkey’s conflict with Kurdish rebels has claimed about 40,000 lives.
Analysts said the Turkish government is wary about being drawn alone into Syria’s conflict and cautious about how its actions are viewed in the Arab world. Animosity and distrust linger from the days of the Ottoman Empire, a dynasty that ruled the region for more than 600 years before it was replaced by the Turkish Republic and other states in 1922.
Support for Turkey
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the Turkish response to the shelling was appropriate and not a surprise because Turkey made clear its intention to respond if its territory was violated.
Parliament’s military authorization “was designed to strengthen the deterrent effect, so that these kinds of things don’t happen again, and it was proportional,” Mrs. Nuland told reporters.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council issued a nonbinding statement on the incident Thursday, overcoming division between Turkey’s NATO allies on the one hand and Russia and China, which have vetoed anti-Syria resolutions in the past, on the other.
The unanimously adopted resolution condemned Syria’s fatal shelling “in the strongest terms.”
The statement offered condolences to the killed Turks’ families and said the incident “highlighted the grave impact the crisis in Syria has on the security of its neighbors and on regional peace and stability.”
A Western diplomat at the United Nations said on the condition of anonymity that Russia had sought to dilute the statement’s language.
“We think it’s very important that the [Security] Council speak clearly and swiftly to condemn this shelling,” Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said before the resolution passed.
Pentagon press secretary George Little decried the Syrian regime and its shelling of the Turkish village. “We stand with our Turkish allies,” he said.
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