Turkey vows to protect its people after Syrian shelling

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Late Wednesday, NATO representatives met in Brussels for an emergency session to condemn the shelling and urged the Syrian regime to “put an end to flagrant violations of international law.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said NATO members agree on the need for solidarity but also on prudence in reacting to events on the Turkish-Syrian border.

NATO said Thursday that Adm. James G. Stavridis, commander of U.S. European Command and the alliance’s supreme allied commander, “has been in close contact with senior officials from both NATO and the Pentagon since the outset of these events and is closely monitoring the situation.”

Under NATO’s Washington Treaty, an attack against one member is considered an attack against all members, allowing international military action.

After having played a key role last year in Libya’s revolution, NATO is wary of being drawn into Syria’s conflict, analysts said.

Regional specialists said the Turkish Parliament’s military authorization aims to pressure the international community for a unified response on the Syrian crisis.

Turkey is using this to tell NATO, ‘Wake up, we are a member and we are being aggressed,’” said Nadim Shehadi, an associate fellow in the Middle East and North Africa program at the London-based think tank Chatham House. “They are doing it for internal reasons. It is too late for the government to back down on its Syria policy, but it needs allies; it can’t be on its own.”

On a visit to Pakistan on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his government’s concern about the escalation of tensions between Turkey and Syria.

Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad, Mr. Lavrov said Syria has assured Russia that such an incident as the shelling that killed the Turks will not happen again.

“It is of great concern for us,” Mr. Lavrov said. “This situation is deteriorating with every coming day.”

Louise Osborne reported from Berlin. Ashish Kumar Sen, Shaun Waterman and Kristina Wong, all from Washington, contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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