Turkish lawmakers today held an emergency session to vote on a Government request for a cross-border military operation, a day after five nationals died in Syrian shelling.

The bill to allow the operation “when deemed necessary” was drafted at an urgent Cabinet meeting late yesterday, hours after Syrian shelling killed five civilians, including a mother and her three children in the southeastern border town of Akcakale.

“Our soil has been the target of aggressive actions by the Syrian Arab Republic Armed Forces since September 20, and they continued despite our numerous warnings and diplomatic initiatives,” the Cabinet motion stated.

“A need has emerged to take necessary measures and to act in haste and in time in the face of additional risks and threats that may be directed against our country,” it added.

The closed parliamentary session came amid Turkish retaliatory fire against Syrian targets.