- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
Turkey’s U.N. envoy Ertugrul Apakan delivered the U.N. Security Council a letter tonight describing the Syrian mortar attack against a small border village in Turkey as "an act of aggression" that "constitutes a flagrant violation of international law."
The Turkish envoy called on the 15-nation council to "take necessary action to put an end to such acts of aggression and that Syria respects Turkey’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and security."Apakan said that Syrian armed forced shelled the town of Akcakale near the Turkish border, killing "five Turkish civilians, all of whom were women and children, as well as a number of serious injuries" to others.
The Turkish letter marks the opening of a diplomatic campaign at the United Nations to muster wide international support against Syria. It makes no reference to Ankara’s military reprisals against Syria. But it warns Syria not to bring "an immediate end" to any further "unacceptable violations" of Turkish territory.
"This is an act of aggression by Syria against Turkey," Apakan wrote. "It constitutes a flagrant violation of international law as well as a breach of international peace and security."
It remained unclear precisely what sort of action Turkey favored.
The U.N. Security Council is planning to meet tomorrow to consider the Turkish request. Before Turkey responded militarily to the Syrian mortar attack, some council diplomats had been considering pushing for a statement condemning Syria’s action. Council diplomats said they are now updating the language.
Acting on behalf of Turkey, Azerbaijan tonight circulated a draft Security Council statement condemning Syria "in the strongest terms" and expressing "sincere condolences" to the Turkish government and the families of the victims. The statement demands that Syria desist from further "violations" of international law.
The statement, however, would require the support of all 15 members of the council to be adopted. Russia, which is Syria’s closest ally on the Security Council, has asked for a delay until 10:00 AM (NYC time) to decide whether to back the statement.
France’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, issued a statement recalling that it is a military "ally" and that Turkey enjoyed its full support.
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