Turkey voices approval to armament of rebels
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gümrükçü said the Syrian regime’s attacks must be halted and a democratic transition should be started. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZTurkish officials have voiced approval over key actors’ reported decision to begin supplying Syrian rebels for the first time with small arms and ammunition, arguing that such a move might eventually tip the balance between the regime and the rebels on the battleground.
When asked whether Turkey intended to follow the allies’ steps, officials indicated that Turkey had no heart for a similar move, since it had long been doing its part in regard to Syrians.
Turkey has already been doing its best among international efforts, such as sheltering thousands of Syrians in Turkish territory, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The United States on June 13 accused Syria of using chemical weapons against the rebels, and announced that it would offer “military support” to the forces battling President Bashar al-Assad.
Ankara says a U.S. assertion on evidence of the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons “on its people” corroborates Turkey’s own findings on earlier blood tests on Syrian refugees, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said June 14. The ministry urged the international community to unite and take up a decisive position against the regime’s “atrocity.”
The ministry’s statement came in the form of an answer to journalists’ questions by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Levent Gümrükçü, following the U.S. statement accusing the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons against the rebels.
The Foreign Ministry stated that the Syrian regime’s attacks must be halted and a “democratic transition process, which will be in line with Syrian people’s legal demands and will“ must start in Syria as soon as possible.
Turkey earlier has said preliminary tests on some injured Syrian refugees sheltered in the country indicated that chemical weapons had been used.