Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu has discussed Syria with his US and Chinese counterparts amid escalating tensions and cross-border attacks on the Syrian-Turkish border, Todays Zaman reported.
As the Turkish military retaliated with artillery fire for a sixth straight day Monday after a Syrian shell hit its territory, Turkey has accelerated its diplomatic efforts to find a non-military solution to the deteriorating crisis with Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu exchanged views with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton amidst signs of spillover of the Syrian conflict into neighboring countries with continuing mortar fire, diplomatic sources said, according to state-run news agency Anatolia.
Clinton expressed her concerns over intermittent artillery shelling across the Turkish-Syrian border, the sources added. Clinton told Davutoglu that the US backs Turkish moves taken regarding the recent crisis with Syria within the scope of NATO.
On Tuesday, a senior US defence official said the alliance would likely react if Turkey made a request for assistance.
"The allies would have to hear what Turkey says and decide what kind of assistance the alliance should bring," he said. "We engage with Turkey to make sure that should the time come where Turkey needs help we're able to do what we can."
Davutoglu also discussed Syrian artillery shelling of southern Turkish district of Akchakale on the Syrian border with his Chinese counterpart, Jang Jiechi.
The Turkish foreign minister briefed Jiechi in some detail on the Syrian shelling that killed five Turkish civilians -- all women and children -- and developments in the aftermath of the incident.
Sources said Jiechi told Davutoglu that China understands Turkey's concerns over the security of its border and that his country is monitoring the cross-border attacks very closely.