Turkey Joins In Calls for Action on Assad
A top Turkish official on Thursday added his country's voice to the condemnation of Syria in the wake of the alleged chemical attack by troops loyal to Bashar al-Assad on a suburb of Damascus.
In an interview on Turkish television, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that there was sufficient evidence that Syria had indeed used chemical weapons against its own citizens, but added that a complete UN investigation was necessary.
“If these allegations are found to be true, it will be inevitable for the international community to take the necessary stance and give the necessary response to this savagery and crime against humanity,” Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu was one of several international officials to call for international action on Syria. France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for the use of “force” against Syria, if it was needed. In an interview with a CNN affiliate, Fabius said that the UN Security Council was the authority to decide on how to deal with the Syrian situation. But if the Security Council “cannot do it, decisions will be made otherwise,” he said.
Britain, which called the emergency UN Security Council meeting late Wednesday, did not call for outright intervention, but British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that, if true, the use of chemical weapons in Syria “would mark a shocking escalation” in the situation there. "The evidence tends to corroborate the suspicions of the use of chemical weapons. If confirmed, they are extremely serious,"he said.
In a statement, the White House said that it was “deeply concerned” over the situation in Syria, and that officials were working to clarify the situation. As of now, the U.S. had no confirmation of the use of chemical weapons, the White House said in a statement.
“If the Syrian government has nothing to hide and is truly committed to an impartial and credible investigation of chemical weapons use in Syria, it will facilitate the UN team's immediate and unfettered access to this site,” the statement said.
In a letter revealed Wednesday, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said that he was opposed to U.S. military intervention in Syria. In a letter to New York Congressman Elliot Engel earlier in the week, Dempsey wrote that “Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides. It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not."