Turkey: We Didn't Give Syria Grace Period, Assaults Must Stop Immediatelyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Turkey did not give the Syrian regime a grace period to carry on with its military operations, which must be stopped “immediately,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stressed Monday.
“Military operations in Syria have not stopped since Thursday evening,” Davutoglu said, describing the military assaults as “a blatant violation of human rights.”
At a press conference he held in Ankara, the Turkish minister noted that “Turkey is not only supporting the Syrian people, but rather all the peoples that are calling for democracy in the Middle East in a peaceful manner.”
“We will do all we can to help the Syrian people and we demand an immediate halt to the military operations,” Davutoglu added.
The minister held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for more than six hours on Tuesday, pleading that he end bloodshed and open the path to political reforms.
His visit to Damascus was to pass on Ankara's message that it "has run out of patience" with the ongoing violence, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Ankara, whose ties with Damascus have flourished in recent years, has repeatedly called on Assad to initiate reforms but has stopped short of calling for his departure.
The Syrian regime has sought to crush weeks of protests with brutal force, killing more than 1,600 civilians and arresting at least 12,000 of dissenters, rights activists say.
Turkey's ambassador to Damascus visited Syria's flashpoint protest hub of Hama, Erdogan said Wednesday, as Syrian army vehicles pulled out of the city.
"Our ambassador went to Hama and said that the tanks, security forces had started to leave Hama. This is highly important to show that our initiatives had positive results," Erdogan said in televised remarks, addressing his party members in Ankara.
"We hope that all these will be completed within a 10 to 15 day period," he added.