Syria accuses Turkey of "aggression" over border decision

BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's foreign ministry accused Turkey of an "act of aggression" on Friday and warned of severe consequences after Ankara authorized cross-border incursions to fight militants advancing on the frontier.

Turkey's parliament gave the government powers on Thursday to order incursions against Islamic State fighters who have surrounded the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, and to allow U.S.-led forces to launch similar operations from Turkish territory.

"The declared approach of the Turkish government constitutes a flagrant violation of the United Nations charter," Syria's foreign ministry wrote to the United Nations, according to state news agency SANA. It said the ministry described the decision as an "act of aggression."

"Turkey will not be safe from the catastrophic consequences" of its policy, Syrian state television said. It quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad as describing the move as a danger to peace and security.

Syria's envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, Hussam Eddin Aala, told Reuters Turkey wanted to intervene in his country because it was funding Islamist militants, including Islamic State, which Turkey denies. He also criticized Turkey's calls for a no-fly zone in Syria's north to protect refugees.

"Turkey is not the only country that is giving support to terrorism but the call for a buffer zone is to cover their intervention in Syria and the support they are giving to terrorists," Aala told Reuters in an interview.

"The question is how the foreign fighters fighting with ISIS(Islamic State), the Nusra Front and Islamic Front and other terrorist organizations, how come all or most of them came through Turkey, with the rest through Jordan?" he added.

He reiterated Syria's view that Saudi Arabia and Qatar - both involved in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State - had actually supported militant groups when they were funding fighters battling the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and had not shown any intention of stopping.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have both denied funding militant Islamists. But diplomats and opposition sources say while Qatar supports relatively moderate rebels also backed by Saudi Arabia and the West, it also has backed more hardline factions seeking to set up a strict Islamic state.

(Reporting by Tom Perry in Beirut and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Sonya Hepinstall)