The Turkish Parliament overwhelminglyapproved, by more than 190 votes, a resolution which will permit the Turkish military to engage in cross border attacks in Syria if situations warrant. For a second straight day the Turkish military lobbed artillery shells at Syrian military targets across the border in retaliation for the mortar attack which killed a Turkish mother and her children in the border town of Akcakale. Turkey's response has been more of a warning to Syria to watch its step, more of a slap in the face, than the "bloody nose" that the Parliament bill has approved if necessary.
NATO has condemned the on going Syrian "aggression against an ally." The alliance also urged Syria to "end its violations of international law." The bill that was approved by Turkey would separate the need for the alliance to act in unison regarding an attack on a fellow member, thereby not widening the conflict. Syria has apologized to Turkey for Wednesdays mortar shelling and expressed its "condolences" to the victims family.
Turkey houses more than 125,000 Syrian refugees, of these, more than 90,000 are supported directly by Turkey in refugee camps. The other 35,000 or so have found housing on their own. The residents of Akcakale have been rattled, school has not been in session for two weeks, many slept outside on Wednesday night. The Syrian shelling has been an ongoing occurrence along the border and this is not the first time the town has had to take cover from, or witness the consequences of mortar rounds up close.
In June the Syrian military shot down a Turkish Phantom reconnaissance jet killing its two crew members. Turkey acknowledges the jet crossed into Syrian airspace for a "matter of seconds," but claims it quickly exited and was hit in international airspace before crashing into the MediterraneanSea. The Syrians went on to fire on the search and rescue aircraft initially deployed to search for the two man crew.