News / Middle East

Turkey Appeals To Russia As Syrian Violence Spikes

Henry Ridgwell
ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Moscow Wednesday for talks on the escalating crisis in Syria, as a bomb blast killed several members of President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle during a security meeting in Damascus. Turkey fears being drawn further into the conflict just over its border.

Prime Minister Erdogan arrived in Moscow Wednesday just as the crisis in Syria took a violent new twist.

Gun battles raged across Damascus after a bomb attack at the National Security building killed and injured members of President Assad's inner circle.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed his Syrian ally throughout the crisis, blocking Western-sponsored resolutions at the U.N. condemning the Syrian government.

The conflict is raging near Turkey's border. Plumes of smoke could be seen Wednesday just a few kilometers into Syria. Ankara has sent reinforcements after one of its military jets was shot down by Syrian forces in June.

Prime Minister Erdogan attended the funeral of one of the pilots earlier this month.

A former ally of Syria, he is now one of its most vocal critics - calling the violence "the last footsteps of a regime on its way out."

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal is urging international cooperation to stop the violence.

"In the case of Syria every country has a different policy and on that there's a strong and long debate still ongoing. I think all countries should be encouraged to pay efforts to stop bloodshed in Syria," Unal said.

Unal said little has come from the peace plan put forward by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan.

"The international community should do more in the sense of increasing the political pressure on the Syrian administration. In that sense, we have supported, we support the efforts of Mr. Annan, but of course this should also bring something concrete," Unal said.

The West has heavily criticized Russia and China for blocking U.N. resolutions against Syria. But Turkey is playing a careful diplomatic game as both countries are valuable trading partners.

After the Damascus bombing, Kofi Annan asked the U.N. Security Council to delay a vote on a new resolution about Syria. Russia's position is seen as key.

Analysts say while the latest attack increases pressure on the five permanent Council members to find a way to end the violence, there are few signs that their differences can be overcome.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lara
July 20, 2012 12:40 PM
I just wonder why Putin is so stubborn.Doesn't he see that Assad's days are counted?

by: Anonymous
July 19, 2012 8:44 PM
So you don't care about your people Assad? You have no care in the world about the country and culture of Syria? You do not want to leave Syria in good condition? You don't want to leave power? So be it, you'll be yanked out of power by the hair. I wish the FSA all the best meeting you face to face.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs