Turkey may take 'steps' after Syria deadline

Turkey may take 'steps' after Syria deadline

ANKARA - The Associated Press
Turkey may take steps after Syria deadline

AFP Photo

Turkey's prime minister says the country will wait "patiently" to see if Syria abides by a cease-fire deadline, but may take certain "steps" if the violence does not stop after that.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not specify today what measures Turkey would take, but Ankara has in the past floated the idea of creating a buffer zone inside Syria if refugee flows become overwhelming.

Officials say nearly 700 Syrians have crossed into Turkey since Friday, raising the number of refugees to 24,324. Turkey has also said it would seek U.N. assistance if the influx continues.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has accepted a cease-fire deadline brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan, which calls for his forces to pull out of towns and cities by Tuesday.