OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is condemning Syria’s fatal shelling of a Turkish border town that left five civilians dead.
The incident has ratcheted up tensions between the two countries, and sparked an emergency meeting of the political representatives of NATO, of which Turkey is a member.
The blast appeared to come from forces of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which is fighting rebels backed by Turkey.
“Canada strongly condemns, in no uncertain terms, this attack by the Assad regime across Syria’s border,” Baird told a brief news conference in the foyer of the House of Commons.
“All countries must bring pressure to bear on Syria for Assad to go.”
Turkish media say a Syrian missile hit a house in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing five civilians, including children, and wounding a dozen others.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Syria to respect the territorial integrity of its neighbour.
“Canada calls for calm and for the Assad regime to stop drawing the region into a self-inflicted conflict and war on the Syrian people,” said Baird.
“The Syrian people deserve better than this illegitimate and murderous regime.”
Baird has criticized the UN Security Council for its inaction on Syria.