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MIDEAST > Turkey looted Syria factory: Damascus

DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse

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People walk in the center of Damascus with the Qasyoun mountain covered with snow in the background. Syria accused Turkey of looting a factory.

People walk in the center of Damascus with the Qasyoun mountain covered with snow in the background. Syria accused Turkey of looting a factory.

Syria yesterday accused Turkey of involvement in looting factories in the industrial city of Aleppo, in letters sent to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council that also urged swift action.

“Some 1,000 factories in the city of Aleppo have been plundered, and their stolen goods transferred to Turkey with the full knowledge and facilitation of the Turkish government,” the Foreign Ministry said in the letters. “It is an illegal act of aggression that amounts to piracy. It is an act of aggression against the Syrian people’s livelihood,” the ministry added.

The ministry charged that Turkey “is supporting terrorism while providing the conditions to help plunder Syria’s riches.”This requires a reaction by the U.N. Security Council,” the ministry said. Turkey’s alleged actions “contribute directly to cross-border crime and piracy, which require an international reaction,” it said.

The ministry also called on Turkey to “return the (looted) property to its owners, and pay compensation to those affected.” The head of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Industry, Fares Shihabi, wrote Jan. 8 the Foreign Ministry accusing “armed groups,” the term used by the government to describe the rebels, of having stolen machinery, equipment, vehicles, cranes and raw materials from the northern city of Aleppo.

Shihabi said that these groups smuggled the stolen goods into Turkey across Syria’s porous northern border via rebel-controlled crossings.

January/11/2013

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