Two Car-Bombings Kill 46 in Turkey

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Spillover of violence from Syria?

Two car bombings have killed at least 46 civilians in the southern Turkish town of Reyhanli.

Reports say the deadly bombings also injured more than hundred civilians and at least 20 in critical condition.

The devastating car-bomb attacks reportedly caused clamor and panic in the town where tension escated between Syrian refugees and Turkish residents.

Many say the attacks are evidences that turmoil in Syria contributed to the spillover in Turkey.

Reyhanli is just a few miles from the Syrian border and has become havens for Syrian refugees and rebels as well when the civil war started in Syria.

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Kurds showing their support for the PYD in Afrin during the conflict.

Who are responsible for the deadly attack?

Reports emerged that Syria has denied accusations that they have staged the attack that killed hundreds of civilians and left scores injured.

The blasts reported worsened the escalating high tensions between two neighboring nations.

Turkey authorities publicly articulated that the bombings were perpetrated by Syria’s intelligence service.

Meanwhile, Turkish authorities have arrested nine Turkish citizens in connection with the attack.

US condemns the attack

US Secretary of State John Kerry issued statement saying the United States condemns the car bombings.

“We stand with our ally, Turkey.” – Secretary Kerry

He says the devastating news strikes an especially personal note on how closely US works in partnership with Turkey, and how many times Turkey’s been a vital interlocutor at the center of my work as Secretary of State these last three months.

“Our thoughts are with the wounded and we extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.” – Secretary Kerry

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Esther Brimmer speaks at Human Rights Council urgent debate on Syria, February 2012.

Turkey shares a border with Syria more than 500 miles long. The border has been a major supporter of Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

Reyhanli is also a hub for rebel activity. Reports say wounded rebel fighters are taken across the border for medical treatment as well.

What are concrete steps both Turkey and the United States working together to address the Syrian crisis?

Reaffirming a strong alliance with Turkey, US Secretary John Kerry said the United States has the same goal as Turkey from the very beginning when it comes to finding solution to end the bloodshed in Syria

In his remarks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu after their meeting in Ankara in Turkey, Secretary Kerry said both countries have actually both undertaken different steps, some of them in concert together and some of them individually, in order to address the Syrian situation.

Both countries would like to save lives, not see them caught up in a continued war, Secretary Kerry said.

And in that effort, both countries worked together, not just Turkey and the United States, but a whole group of countries, all of whom have been doing different things according to their laws and according to their abilities.

US and Turkey Collaborate to address the turmoil

According to Secretary Kerry, the Syrian opposition has gained greater unity, it has gained a greater voice, greater capacity.

Both Turkey and the United States rallied to put sanctions together, which have helped to reduce the amount of money flowing to Assad regime’s war machine.

Together, both countries worked to strengthen the Syrian opposition so that they are in a position now to be able to do more.

Together, both countries saw the NATO Patriots come here in order to secure Turkey’s border.

Worsening Humanitarian Situation in Syria

According to media reports, nearly two years into Syria’s civil war, the region faces a staggering humanitarian disaster.

More than 600,000 Syrians reportedly have fled to over-burdened neighboring countries and the UN anticipates that number could soon exceed 1 million if the exodus continues at its current pace of about 3,000 refugees a day.

Inside Syria, more than 2 million civilians are displaced and the UN estimates that 4 million are in dire need of assistance.

Syrians Struggling to Survive

Syrian civilians are struggling to survive in communities besieged by violence, chaos and destruction. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble. Fleeing families face recurring displacement amid a moving frontline. Supplies of food, water and electricity have sharply dwindled, sanitation in many areas has halted, increasing the threat of disease, yet medical care has become scarce.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has created a severe and growing humanitarian crisis, and the humanitarian organizations currently operating in Syria are tirelessly working to get aid out as quickly as possible into areas where safety and security are questionable.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 60, 000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

US Responds to Syrian Crisis

In April 2012, with the deteriorating situation in Syria due to turmoil, the United States of America bolstered efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in the country.

The UN estimates that there are over 1 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Of that number, it’s an estimated 300,000 internally displaced.

There are over 66,000 refugees in neighboring countries.

In terms of funding, the United States has dedicated some $33 million to support the important work to assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries, and much more is on the way.

US pproach is to work through international and nongovernmental organizations.

The United States commends the brave and dedicated work that the humanitarian organizations on the ground in Syria and in the neighboring countries are carrying out, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and the World Food Program, and many international nongovernmental organizations.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has created a severe and growing humanitarian crisis, and the humanitarian organizations currently operating in Syria are tirelessly working to get aid out as quickly as possible into areas where safety and security are questionable.

To help meet the growing needs, the United States is providing food, clean water, basic healthcare, medical and other emergency relief supplies to benefit more than 400,000 people in Syria and neighboring countries so far.

One of US largest emergency partners right now is the World Food Program, which has been helping to reach a hundred thousand people per month in some of the most conflict-affected cities and zones since this conflict began.

World Food Program, WFP, is being distributed in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

With support from the United States and other donors, WFP has expanded its emergency food assistance to reach now 250,000 conflict-affected Syrians, so the program is expanding.

US assistance is through international and non-governmental humanitarian partners which include:

-$10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);

-$8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);

-$7.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);

-$3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and

-$3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 70, 000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.