Turkish PM claims Syria used chemical weapons

Turkish PM claims Syria used chemical weapons
Fri May 10, 2013 22:59:31

Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons despite a new UN finding on the possible use of the nerve agent, sarin, by foreign-backed terror groups in the Arab country.

In an interview with American television channel NBC on Thursday, Erdogan said he believes that Syria has used chemical weapons, crossing a “red line” set by US President Barack Obama, without providing details on when or where they were used.


“We want the United States to assume more responsibilities and take further steps. And what sort of steps they will take, we are going to talk about this,” said Erdogan, calling for stronger US action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Erdogan, who is scheduled to meet Obama on May 16, rejected reports that insurgents may have used chemical material, saying they have no access to such weapons.


Erdogan’s comments come days after the United Nations investigators said they have found testimony from victims and medical staff that shows armed terrorists have used sarin -- classified as a weapon of mass destruction in the UN Resolution 687 -- in Syria.


Top UN rights investigator Carla del Ponte said on Sunday May 5 that according to testimony, found by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, rebels may have been using the deadly nerve agent sarin.


Ankara has sided with 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.


Syria is gripped by a deadly insurgency since mid-March 2011 in which many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

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