Reposted from aljazeera.com
Retaliation follows mortar attack from Syrian territory that killed family of five in border town of Akcakale.
Turkish armed forces have launched artillery attacks against Syria in response to a Syrian mortar strike which killed five members of the same family in southeastern Turkey.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, said the attacks, carried out following radar tracking, were within the rules of engagement as the mortars landed within 10 kilometres of the border.
Western officials, from Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary-general, to Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, quickly condemned the attack that struck a house in the border town of Akcakale.
Clinton said the White House was “outraged” by the “very dangerous situation” created by the attack.
Ankara has agreed to convene an urgent meeting of NATO members in Brussels to discuss the shelling. The meeting of NATO ambassadors falls under Aritce 4 of the NATO charter which provides for consultations when a member state feels its territorial integrity, political independence or security is under threat.
Witnesses said policemen have also been injured in the shelling, which originated only kilometres away from the Syrian border.
Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, briefed Ban Ki-Moon, UN chief, on the situation shortly word of the attack reached Ankara.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Antakya, on the Turkish-Syrian border, said though this the mortar attack marks the third instance of Syrian gunfire or artillery reaching Turkish territory, it is the “first time Turkey has actively become involved” in the situation.
Earlier on Wednesday, four blasts struck a government-controlled district close to a military officers’ club in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, killing dozens and wounding more than 100, opposition activists said.
“A medical source said that at least 40 people were killed and 90 injured,” the UK-based watchdog group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
“Most of them were regime troops.”
Meanwhile, official television channel Al-Ikhbariya said 31 people were killed and dozens wounded.
The attacks within minutes of each other struck the main Saadallah al-Jabiri Square near a military officers’ club and a hotel.
Syrian state television reported of “terrorist explosions” in the city.
Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, said there was still no clear claim of responsibility for the attacks.
“Fighting between the government forces and the rebels continue, but no one is making any progress. The civilians are paying the price for it.”
Aleppo, Syria’s commercial hub and largest city, has seen intensified fighting between regime forces and rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad, especially after the fighters launched a new offensive last week.
Aleppo-based activist Mohammad Saeed said the explosions went off minutes apart at one of the city’s main squares.
He said the blasts appear to have been caused by car bombs and were followed by clashes and heavy gunfire.