Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey ready for 'any scenario' in Syria: May intervene militarily

The Turkish foreign minister has said that Ankara is ready for any scenario if Syria continues its crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad, but that his country is opposed to a military option against its neighbour.

Ahmet Davutoglu, in an interview with television broadcaster Kanal 24 on Tuesday, said: "We hope that a military intervention will never be necessary.

"However, the Syrian regime has to find a way of making peace with its own people to eliminate this option. If the oppression continues, Turkey is ready for any scenario."

Davutoglu also said the international community may decide a buffer zone is needed in Syria if increasing numbers of people try to flee the violence there.

"If tens, hundreds of thousands of people start advancing towards the Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey borders, not only Turkey but the international community may be required to take some steps such as a buffer zone," he said.

"We don't want that to happen but we must consider and work on that scenario."

Moreover, he said that Turkish sanctions against Syria were ready and would be announced after he meets with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He did not specify a time frame.

Ankara has stepped up its criticism of the government's crackdown on Syria’s uprising after Turkish diplomatic missions came under attack by pro-government demonstrators in several cities earlier this month.

Davutoglu’s comments came as activists reported that seven people were killed across Syria on Tuesday, including four in the Damascus suburb of Rankous, two in the central province of Homs and one in a suburb of Hama. more