Turkey Demands End to Assad Crackdown
Turkey's foreign minister demanded President Bashar Assad of Syria end his brutal crackdown "without conditions or excuses."
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 8/15/2011, 8:16 PM
Turkey's foreign minister has urged Syria to immediately end its deadly suppression of the nation's 5-month-old uprising, threatening it with unspecified "steps" if it fails to do so.
Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday the bloodshed must end "immediately and without conditions or excuses."
Davutoglu added: "If the operations do not end, there would be nothing more to discuss about steps that would be taken," without saying what that action could include.
The strong Turkish rhetoric comes as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad employed warships, in addition to tanks, to shell the port city of Latakia for the third day running.
Turkey, a former close ally of Syria, has been increasingly frustrated with its brutal crackdown of the protests, which have become increasingly belligerent in the face of mounting world criticism.
Davutoglu traveled to Damascus last week and urged Assad to end to the bloodshed. The trip came as Saudi Arabia shocked many in the region by yanking its ambassador to Damascus and issuing its own unexpectedly sharp condemnations of the crackdown.
Some 2,000 dissidents have been killed by Assad's forces since the uprising began.