News / Middle East

Turkey PM Warns Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2013 photo)Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2013 photo)
x
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2013 photo)
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2013 photo)
Reuters
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would support a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone in Syria and warned that Damascus crossed President Barack Obama's “red line'' on chemical weapons use long ago, according to an NBC News interview released Thursday.
 
A no-fly zone to prohibit Syrian military aircraft from hitting rebel targets has been mentioned by American lawmakers as one option the United States could use to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
“Right from the beginning ... we would say 'Yes,'' Erdogan said when asked if Turkey, a NATO member that shares its longest border with Syria, would support such action, according to an NBC.com report.
 
But setting up a no-fly zone would require U.S. air strikes, and possibly forces sent into Syria, at the risk of casualties. There is little chance the United States would undertake that  anytime soon, U.S. security officials say.
 
Still, Erdogan's comments could add pressure on Washington to take action in a two-year revolt that has killed 70,000 people and further destabilized a volatile region.
 
Erdogan also said Assad has fired missiles with chemical weapons at his opponents, crossing Obama's so-called red line a “long time ago.''
 
Obama said in August he views the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line.'' But, wary of the false intelligence used to justify the 2003 war in Iraq, the United States says it wants proof before taking any action.
 
“It is clear that the regime has used chemical weapons and missiles. They used about 200 missiles, according to our intelligence,'' Erdogan said in the interview with the U.S. television news outlet.
 
The Turkish leader did not make clear whether Turkey believed that all 200 missiles carried chemical weapons and said his government had not determined whether sarin gas was used.
 
“There are different sizes missiles. And then there are deaths caused by these missiles. And there are burns, you know, serious burns and chemical reactions,'' Erdogan told the network when asked what evidence Turkey had.
 
“And there are patients who are brought to our hospitals who were wounded by these chemical weapons,'' he added.
 
“You can see who is affected by chemical missiles by their burns,'' said Erdogan, who told NBC that Turkey would share intelligence with the United Nations Security Council.
 
Obama is set to meet with Erdogan in Washington on May 16.
 
Assad's forces and opposing rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons. Erdogan told NBC he doubted Assad's opponents have used such weapons because they lacked access to them.
 
Turkey's state-run Anatolian news agency said earlier on Thursday that the country has sent eight experts to the border with Syria to test wounded victims of the country's civil war for traces of chemical and biological weapons.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
May 09, 2013 11:26 PM
Hey Tayyip Erdogan, Shut up your mouth and stop spreading any futher lies. You have no proof! If you have any, it is your products!Do you think people can believe in your words when you are supporting terrorist groups and helping to turn the whole Syria into hell? You are only the betrayer of Syrians.

by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
May 09, 2013 10:58 PM
Money has power to speak, this is truth. He cannot increase the standard of living of his own country man and then he speak for syrian peoples for what. Any body can guess.

by: Dr. Elizabeth P. from: UK
May 09, 2013 10:20 PM
Assad will stay away from confrontation with Israel at all costs... he knows how closely they monitor him and their technological capabilities are almost magical.... whatever the Hizbullah clown may claim, Assad will use any excuse to avoid Israel's wrath... but with Turkey, Assad will unleash a devastating attack... chemicals not excluded...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs