Syria/Turkey- Syria's Regime clarified that it condoled the deaths of innocent civilians in Wednesday’s cross-border mortar fire incident but had not apologized to Turkey as it "applied investigations to ascertain the identity of those who had carried out the attack.", according to Syria`s Information Minister statement earlier.
Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Bashar Al-Jafari announced on Thursday that the Syrian government had not send any apology letter to the Turkish government. He added that Damascus was not seeking an escalation in tensions with Turkey or other countries.
"The Syrian government has a key interest in maintaining good neighborly relations with Turkey," ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari told reporters in NY.
"In case of border incidents between any two neighboring countries, governments should act wisely, rationally and reasonably." al-Jaafari declared.
But he called on the Turkish government to cooperate with Syria on controls to "prevent armed groups from infiltrating through this border" to stage attacks in Syria.
Al-Jafari asserted that “the Syrian government is working on investigating the accident and not on apologizing”. He alluded to the official statement issued by the Syrian information minister Omran Al- Zoabi, which did not include any apology.
He also read out a letter to reporters in New York, which urged Turkey and its other neighbors to "act wisely, rationally and responsibly" and to prevent cross-border infiltration of "terrorists and insurgents" and the smuggling of arms.
Syria’s permanent representative to UNSC al-Jafari stressed that Syria would not accept double standards on the ground rules for extending apologies. “We have waited one year and eight months for the Turkish government to present an apology over its acts in Syria. It is a tragic development that a Turkish woman was killed with her three children, and we sympathise with that with all what it takes because she is an innocent Turkish citizen”.
He was also emphatic in saying that “we (Syria) did not hear from the Turkish side any sympathy or solidarity with the innocent Syrian citizens who were killed in the terror explosions of Aleppo. Therefore, we must be fair in our approaches". Ambassador al-Jafari was referring to Wednesday’s four suicide bombings that had rocked a prominent square in the heart of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, killing at least 31 people and injuring scores. The powerful blasts had also torn down the facades of some buildings and completely destroyed others.
The Syrian ambassador said that his government had delivered a letter to the Security Council seeking its condemnation for four the Aleppo suicide bombings. But he lamented that the council once again has been unable to condemn "these suicide terrorist attacks".
Syria’s permanent representative toUNSC al-Jafari did not rule out the possibility of the mortar firing being a false-flag attack, carried out by vested interests who would want Syria and Turkey to be drawn into a war. He pointed out that “in that region there are many groups that are interested in creating conflict between Syria and Turkey”.
Earlier on Thursday, Turkish officials said Syria had officially apologized regarding shelling a Turkish village next to Syrian-Turkish border.
NATO and the United Nations have condemned and demanded that Syria to immediately ceased all acts of aggression against Turkey. The Syrian authorities, in turn, expressed their condolences to the families of the dead and began investigating the incident.
On Wednesday, shelling hit the Turkish town of Akcakale, killing five local residents and wounding a dozen others. The shelling appeared to come from Syrian government forces who were fighting Syrian rebels backed by Turkey, which has called for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey's Anadolu agency said the dead included a woman, her three children and her friend.
On Friday, calm had returned to the border area and there were no further Turkish reprisals, monitors said.
Wednesday's incident marked the first time that Turkish civilians have been killed by Syrian fire since the start of an uprising in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March 2011.
In mid-September, a few houses in Turkey suffered from Syrian shells. Three people were injured as a result.