Is Turkey at war with Syria?
After Syrian shells killed five civilians in a Turkish border town, Turkey's parliament authorized military operations against Syria. But Turkey's deputy prime minister says that this is not a declaration of war.
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Some residents of Akcakale abandoned their homes close to the border and spent the night on the streets. Others gathered outside the mayor's office, afraid to return to their homes as the dull thud of distant artillery fire rumbled.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Life in the Syria-Turkey border
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Turks have grown weary of the burden of involvement in the Syrian conflict, which includes the hosting of 90,000 Syrian refugees in camps along the border.
Yet Turkey is still loath to go it alone in Syria, and is anxious for any intervention to have the legitimacy conferred by a U.N. resolution or the involvement of a broad group of allies. Turkey is mindful in part of inconclusive ground missions, mostly in the 1990s, against Kurdish guerrillas based in northern Iraq, as well as the bitter lessons of being seen as an occupying power that are associated with the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq.
Reaching deeper into history, Turkey is aware of Mideast sensibilities over Ottoman rule over much of the region.
"It is of great concern for us," Lavrov said. "This situation is deteriorating with every coming day."
The Turkish retaliatory shelling and steps to authorize possible military intervention against Syria were the latest events to sharply escalate tensions between the two former allies.
In June, Turkey reinforced its border with anti-aircraft missiles and threatened to target any approaching Syrian military elements after Syrian forces brought down a Turkish jet, killing its two pilots. Turkey said the plane was in international airspace, countering Syrian claims that it was in Syrian airspace.