October 5, 2012
Turkey lied to the United Nations when it claimed that Syria had apologized and taken responsibility for the mortar attack which led to a de facto declaration of war, increasing the likelihood that the shelling was actually carried out by Turkish-backed FSA rebels.
Reports which emerged immediately after Turkey’s parliament gave the green light for military strikes to be carried out inside Syria described how Turkey’s deputy prime minister Besir Atalay told the UN how Syria had “admitted it was responsible for the shelling that killed five civilians in Turkey” and had “formally apologized” for the incident.
This instantly put a dampener on a growing body of evidence to suggest that it was in fact FSA rebels and not Syrian forces who were responsible for the initial attack. German news channel ZDF broadcast two separate reports that stated Syrian rebels had taken responsibility for the attack in Akçakale. In addition, a newly released video shows Syrian rebels purportedly in the very region that the mortar attack took place showing off mortar shells and taking credit for the attack.
Ensuring that Syria was blamed for the attack in the eyes of the international community, which roundly condemned President Assad despite there being scant details of the incident, was key for Turkey, especially given reports that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan immediately demanded the United States impose a no fly zone over the country in response to the attack.
However, despite international media headlines proclaiming it to be the case, Syria never took responsibility for the attack and never apologized for it.