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Turkey PM says Israeli raids on Syria 'unacceptable'
Published Tuesday 07/05/2013 (updated) 08/05/2013 20:51
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ANKARA (AFP) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday branded Israel's air raids in Syria "unacceptable" but again called on the international community to act over killings by regime forces.

"No excuse can justify this operation," Erdogan told ruling party lawmakers after Israel's weekend strikes on military sites in the war-torn country sent regional tensions soaring.

Erdogan said the raids -- reportedly targeting Iranian weapons bound for Lebanon's Hezbollah group -- were a "golden opportunity" for his one-time ally President Bashar Assad to cover up massacres of opponents.

"Assad is trying to cover up what happened at Banias by using the Israeli raids as a pretext," said the Turkish premier, referring to a crackdown by Assad's troops and militiamen in the Mediterranean city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the weekend that the bodies of at least 62 murdered residents had been found in a Sunni neighborhood of the city, after at least 50 civilians were killed in a nearby village.

Erdogan said he was appalled by the photographs of children murdered by the regime and blasted the international community for its failure to act.

"I wonder how long you will turn a blind eye to this massacre," he said. "Damn your international policies!"

He called on the UN Security Council to "urgently convene" over the Banias killings, which have sent residents fleeing.

On Sunday, Erdogan called the Syrian president a "butcher," in his harshest attack in recent months.

Ankara cut contact with Damascus after its calls for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, which is now in its third year and has killed more than 70,000 people, went unheeded.

Turkey has sided with the rebels fighting to topple Assad's regime, taken in around 400,000 refugees as well as army defectors and repeatedly called on the international community to act on the unfolding crisis.
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1 ) southparkbear / usa
07/05/2013 18:17
what is the 'excitment' about the 62? between 150 - 300 are dying everyday and so far the tally is much higher than 100,000

2 ) matt / usa
07/05/2013 20:36
Oh please. assad is killing his own people. if turkey really cared he would stop calling assad names and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING. israels attack wether right or wrong actually HELPED the people. not the regime, the people.

3 ) Maureen / Australia
08/05/2013 11:37
#1 excitedparkbear, fact is, what goes around comes around! Don't whine when Israel's actions boomarang back!

4 ) Boz / Oz
08/05/2013 17:28
"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday branded Israel's air raids in Syria "unacceptable".

That from the leader of a country guilty of the Armenian genocide.

5 ) @ Turkish PM Erdogan / Self-Defense
08/05/2013 18:13
IF those Iranian rockets were being delivered to Kurdish militants,
that are fighting Turkey, instead of Hezbollah militants fighting Israel,
THEN Turkey would have acted in self-defense, just like Israel.

6 ) Maureen / Australia
08/05/2013 21:34
ALL of Israel's neighbours need and deserve to jave ALL the defense they can muister against Zionist invasion, land theft and ethnic cleansing. Zionists want more than just ALL of Palestine!

7 ) Mel / USA
08/05/2013 23:04
Talking off "butchers", Israel&D.C.have been arming/funding PKK,MeK &PJAK in Iraq,Syria &SE.Turkey to deepen sectarian divides,since 2003.Israel is NO friend to Turkey,&Assad's behavior is no worse than"butcher"Israel has been since 1948,in Palestine.POT-KETTLE-BLACK! Now,PKK is ceasing fire & conveniently making"peace" right when Wahhabi's are recruiting any Sunni's against HZBL,Alawites &Iranian Shiites!And Israel is passing W/Phos.&? Sarin to SALAFIST thugs,to destroy sovereign SYRIA! MADNESS

8 ) gabi / australia
09/05/2013 10:19
I wonder why Israel is so upset about Hezbollah getting anti-aircraft weapons ? Oh yes, maybe it is because it means Israel can bomb the shit out of Lebanon - again - without there being any air defence to stop them. And isn't it wonderful when people like # 1 cry their crocodile tears about the deaths in Syria? Takes the spotlight off Israel's actions. As to Erdogan, should have thought of this before you "made up" with Israel. You knew it was a rogue state and would do as it wanted as always.

9 ) cancan / turkey
09/05/2013 13:15
boz/oz you should make some research about the world war 1 because at that times 4 million muslim turks killed from armenians russians and all west countries sides so iam talk about reality but you talk about gossip, if you are right why armenia and russia doesnt accept open their archives..
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