UN: Syria has 'grave impact' on regional security (+video)
As Turkey bombarded Syria Thursday, the UN Security Council condemned Syria's initial mortar attack on Turkey. A peaceful anti-war protest took place in Istanbul on Thursday evening.
Frightened residents of a Turkish border town shelled by Syria expressed skepticism on Friday that military and political retaliation by Ankara would succeed in deterring more deadly strikes by Damascus forces.
Turkish artillery bombarded Syrian military targets for a second day on Thursday, responding to the mortar fire that killed five people the day before in the southeastern town of Akcakale.
The salvoes killed several Syrian soldiers, and Turkey's parliament stepped up pressure on the political front by authorising cross-border military action in the event of further aggression.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would never want to start a war and the parliamentary vote was merely a deterrent, but people in the region remained fearful.
"We are stuck in the middle," said 33-year-old security guard Ibrahim Cilden in Akcakale. "If we're going to go to war, let's go to war, but right now we're sitting here like targets."
His house was a few doors from the one hit on Wednesday in the south of Akcakale by the border fence. The area is like a ghost town, bearing the scars of Syrian shells, mortar bombs and bullets that have strayed across the border in recent weeks.
Syria's ally Russia said it had received assurances from Damascus that the mortar strike had been a tragic accident, as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad battle rebels trying to overthrow his government in the area.