The UN Security Council has issued a statement strongly condemning a recent shelling of a Turkish town by Syria that killed five civilians and called on Damascus to respect sovereignty of its neighbors.
“The members of the Security Council underscored that this incident highlighted the grave impact the crisis in Syria has on the security of its neighbors and on regional peace and stability,” the statement said on Thursday.
The 15-member council unanimously demanded that “such violations of international law stop immediately and are not repeated.”
An artillery round fired from Syrian territory hit the town of Akcakale in southeast Turkey on Wednesday, killing two women and three children.
Turkey responded to Syrian attack on Wednesday and Thursday by hitting targets near Syria’s border town of Tel Abyad from which the shelling allegedly took place.
In addition, the Turkish parliament on Thursday authorized the government to launch cross-border military operations as a deterrent against potential attacks from Syria for the period of one year.
The incident threatens to further inflame tensions in the region and has fueled fears that the violent conflict in Syria may drag other countries into a regional war.
The conflict in Syria, between rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad and government forces, has raged since March 2011 and has claimed around 20,000 lives, according to UN estimates.