Turkish travelers fired on in Syria
ISTANBUL / TUNIS
Almost 1,000 Turkish trucks are waiting at the border crossings with Syria due to the sanctions. DHA photoAlmost 1,000 Turkish trucks are waiting at the border crossings with Syria due to the sanctions.
Armed men fired on two Turks’ cars near the Syrian city of Idlib, slightly injuring one of the drivers, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
Mehmet Akınay and Nesim Zeytinci were driving to Saudi Arabia through Syria in cars with non-Turkish license plates when they came under fire from gunmen in civilian clothes 15 kilometers from Idlib. One of the cars was hit by 17 bullets, and the other three, Turkish police said. “We were filled with fear on our way back to Turkey,” Zeytinci said, adding that they had taken shelter in a Syrian village at first. The pair fled back to the Turkish border at Cilvegözü, Agence France-Presse reported.
Meanwhile, a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement earlier yesterday called on its citizens to avoid using Cilvegözü and Babel Hava border crossings with Syria as the recent clashes. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said yesterday the U.S. is confused about the situation in Syria, Anatolia news agency reported. “Their minds are confused about not only how to make Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down, but also what will happen to Syria after al-Assad,” Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy head of CHP said. The first congress of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the opposition’s most representative grouping, will open in the Tunisian capital today, an official said.
‘Syria threat to Turkey’
U.S. State Department official Frederic Hof Dec. 14 said Bashar al-Assad is part of the problem in the region and posing an “unthinkable threat to Turkey.” “Turkey has denied providing weapons to the Free Syrian Army located in the country and is sending them to Syria,” Hof said, adding that there is no reason not to believe the denial. He said he is sure Turkey is evaluating various options in case of possible scenarios. Hof said al-Assad’s regime in Syria was like a “dead man walking” over its brutal crackdown.