Washington, Oct 5: The Pentagon has expressed its outrage over the attack on Turkey by Syrian forces that left five people dead and said it is time for the Assad regime, which "continues to kill" Syrian people, to step down.
Reiterating Washington's solidarity with Ankara, Pentagon yesterday expressed hope that the recent act of aggression by Syria will not escalate into a border conflict.
"We hope that this doesn't escalate into a broader conflict and the situation deescalates," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said at a news conference.
Asserting that the US was "outraged" by the Syrian act, Little termed shooting across the Turkish border as absolutely "inappropriate, wrong and deplorable".
"It is time for the Assad regime to step down. They continue to kill innocent civilians in Syria and it's time for the Syrian people to be able to determine their own future in a country that is free of this kind of brutality," Little said a day after five Turkish civilians were killed in artillery attack by Syrian forces across the Turkish border.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had on Thursday spoken to her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu and extended full American support.
"She pledged the United States' strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our Turkish ally and endorsed the statement in the North Atlantic Council this evening, which condemned Syria's aggression and called for Alliance solidarity with Turkey," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had said.
"Our understanding is that the Turks have responded. The Turkish parliament has also given the government the capacity to respond again if there are future such violations of Turkish sovereignty," Nuland had said on Thursday.
She said Turkey was designed to strengthen the deterrent effect, so that these kinds of things don't happen again.
The North Atlantic Council had also issued a statement in support of Turkey's sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemned the "flagrant violations" of international law.