Erdogan Urges Syria to Send Tanks into Barracksإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Wednesday on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to send tanks back into barracks to prove that it is fully implementing an international peace plan.
"Unless tanks go back into barracks, we cannot say the six-point peace plan is being implemented," Erdogan said at a press conference televised by private NTV news channel.
The Turkish prime minister said he was relaying information from "Syrians who are still fleeing violence" into neighboring countries, and that the killings continued outside Damascus.
"Although tanks are withdrawing from streets and neighborhoods, they are being pulled into rural areas," but not sent back to barracks, said Erdogan.
Pessimistic about Damascus's plea to deliver on its promise to implement international envoy Kofi Annan's plan, Erdogan said developments in Syria signaled that Assad was acting against his pledges.
Turkey, once a strong ally of Syria, broke off ties with Damascus after the regime's crackdown on dissent in mid-March last year, sending waves of Syrian refugees into Turkish territory.
Although some of the refugees are heading back to Syria following Damascus's promise to implement Annan's ceasefire plan, Turkey still hosts more than 20,000 Syrians.