"Erdogan Backing Terrorism to serves his Masters": Assad

Wed Mar 4, 2015 19:03:37

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of backing extremism as he met Tuesday with visiting Turkish opposition figures.

"Erdogan leads with a destructive policy that does not serve at all the interest of his people, by supporting takfiri (terrorists) forces," state news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying.

The delegation included figures from various Turkish opposition parties and was led by Dogu Perincek, head of the ultranationalist Homeland Party, SANA reported.

The group also stressed that the majority of Turkish people still believe in relations with the people of Syria and oppose Erdogan's support of terrorism in Syria.

"This is what the Turkish government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is doing, providing support to extremist and Takfiri forces to win the favor of his masters through implementing their plots", Hürriyet Daily News quoted Syria's official news agency SANA as reporting on Tuesday.

Damascus has consistently accused the NATO member of harboring, financing, training, and arming militants since violence erupted in March 2011, saying it played a role in the formation and expansion of extremist groups like ISIS.

Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the US-led coalition against the ISIS group,refusing a frontline military role despite its 1,200 kilometer (750-mile) border with Iraq and Syria.

But it agreed in principle to train and equip Syrian rebels and is already training Kurdish peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.

The Syrian government has also repeatedly accused Ankara of playing a major role in fueling the armed crisis in Syria by opening its borders and allowing free access to foreign jihadists into Syria.

According to a UN report published in November, Turkey has been singled out as a major transit point for ISIS’ oil deliveries, with trucks often returning to Iraq or Syria with refined products.

In mid January,social media sites Twitter and Facebook, along with many other websites, were blocked in Turkey after anonymous accounts published new evidence in an ongoing case accusing Turkey of illegally shipping weapons to militants in Syria.

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