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Turkish Prime Minister warns Assad his days are numbered

ANKARA - Agence France-Presse | 11/21/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Monday that his days as leader were numbered and he cannot remain in power indefinitely through military force.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Monday that his days as leader were numbered and he cannot remain in power indefinitely through military force.

"You can remain in power with tanks and cannons only up to a certain point. The day will come when you'll also leave," Erdoğan told a meeting in Istanbul.

"Someone shows up and says 'I'll fight and die. Against whom will you fight? Will you fight against your Muslim brothers you rule in your country?" said Erdoğan.

He was referring to an interview with Assad published in London's Sunday Times in which the embattled leader vowed to fight and die for Syria if faced with foreign intervention.

Erdogan denounced the use of military force "against those in Syria who demand a decent life." "We never and never consider humane" the killing of Syrian people with tanks and cannons, said Erdoğan.

Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has become increasingly outspoken in its criticism of Assad's regime as the death toll from the increasingly bloody crackdown on protests has risen to more than 3,500.

Ankara last week announced a halt to joint oil exploration with Syria and has threatened to cut electricity exports there.

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