Turkey warns Syria's Assad, activists report 13 killed
Published Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned on Wednesday that President Bashar Assad's violent crackdown threatens to “drag the whole region into turmoil and bloodshed.”
Turkey has issued increasingly stern positions on Syria since the Arab League's near-unanimous vote to suspend Syria's membership and impose economic sanctions.
The opposition Syrian Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said 13 were killed in cities throughout Syria on Wednesday. Anti-regime demonstrations and funeral processions that brought out hundreds reportedly took place in Homs and the Damascus suburbs.
The Syrian state news agency, SANA, reported that the Syrian government arrested a dozen “terrorists” in Homs.
The Saudi government responded to the death of one of its citizens in Homs by calling it a “sinful act.” The Saudi man, Hussein al-Khalidi, was visiting family when he was reportedly killed at the hands of security forces on Monday.
Syrian army defectors are also reportedly hopeful of the prospect of a Turkish “safe zone” inside Syria. Members of the Free Syrian Army have set up a command post in Turkey and believe that if a safe zone were established, they would be able to launch a successful overthrow of Assad's government.
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly's human rights committee issued a non-binding resolution on Tuesday condemning human rights violations at the hands of the Syrian government.
Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Jafari accused Britain, France, and Germany of “waging a media, political and diplomatic war against Syria” and encouraging armed groups to engage in violence rather than national dialogue with the government.
"It is not a secret that the United States of America is the mastermind and main instigator of the political campaign against my country," Jafari said.
(al-Akhbar, Reuters, AP)