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 Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.