Tensions rippled across Turkey Thursday, a day after Syrian shelling struck a Turkish border town and killed five people.
Turkey fired on Syrian government targets in retaliation for the artillery fire that struck the town of Akcakale.
In an emergency session Thursday, Turkey's parliament authorized a resolution giving the government permission to deploy its soldiers to foreign countries, a semiofficial news agency said.
"This should not be seen as a war resolution," said Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay. "It's for the purposes of protecting our interests and for possible developments. It is a preventative measure."
With the United Nations serving as an intermediary between Syria and Turkey, Atalay said Syria accepted responsibility for Wednesday's shelling and apologized.
"Syria accepts that they did it and says it will not happen again," Ataly said.
The developments underscore longstanding fears that the spillover from Syria's more than 18-month-long civil war could ignite a wider regional conflict.
The Turkish military began its retaliation Wednesday and continued it Thursday. It's the first time Turkey has fired into Syria during the crisis.
The forces shelled Syrian military sites Thursday in Tal Abyad, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the Turkish border, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported.
Salih Aydogan, a local official in Akcakale, confirmed to CNN that Turkish artillery fired at Syria throughout Wednesday night and before dawn Thursday.
In a text message to CNN, he wrote, "Of course we heard the shooting. We couldn't sleep until the morning. The artillery unit is located at the zero point (directly at) the border in our district."
A senior Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNN the artillery bombardment "continued for a while last night -- very early this morning,"
The official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said the shelling was near the border town that was targeted Wednesday. The official could not provide details about Syrian casualties.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a number of Syrian security forces were killed.
"Turkey has retaliated to yesterday's incident without declaring war on Syria. Political, diplomatic initiatives will continue," Ibrahim Kalin, the foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Thursday in a posting on Twitter.
"Turkey has no interest in a war with Syria. But Turkey is capable of protecting its borders and will retaliate when necessary," Kalin added.
Erdogan sent the resolution to parliament, which said that circumstances have "reached a point that constitutes serious threat and risk to our national security. Therefore, it has become necessary to be able to respond to further risks and threats in a timely and immediate manner."
The resolution parliament considered called for authorizing the government to send Turkish forces "to foreign countries, with the administration determining the location, the scope, the numbers and the time of such deployment."
Any deployment would be over a one-year period, the resolution said.
The measure was approved by a vote of 320-129. Members of Erdogan's AKP party supported the resolution, while the main opposition party, the CHP, voted no.
The resolution points to a series of aggressive acts against Turkey by Syria beginning on September 20, the day fighting between rebels and Syrian government forces near the border wounded three Turkish civilians and temporarily forced the closure of area schools and farms.
Syria and Turkey once enjoyed a cozy bilateral relationship that saw visa-free travel and booming trade between the countries.
But relations ruptured as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government continued its bloody and unrelenting crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.
Tensions flared four months ago when the Syrian government announced it had shot down a Turkish military reconnaissance jet after it crossed into Syrian airspace. Two Turkish pilots were killed in the incident. The Turkish government continues to insist the jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile after it left Syrian airspace -- claims that the Syrian government denies.
The deadly strikes into Turkey have been roundly condemned by a chorus of nations.