News / Middle East

Turkey's PM Warns of Syrian Civil War as Crackdown Continues

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a joint press conference with Egyptian Prime minister Essam Sharaf, unseen, in Cairo,  Sept. 13, 2011
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a joint press conference with Egyptian Prime minister Essam Sharaf, unseen, in Cairo, Sept. 13, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Turkey's prime minister has warned that Syria could descend into a sectarian civil war, as the unrest there continues.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk Tuesday he fears the crisis engulfing Turkey's southern neighbor will end in conflict between the Alawites and the Sunnis.

Syria's ruling elite belong to the minority Alawite sect - an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam - while most of the country's citizens are Sunni Muslim.

In separate comments before several thousand people in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Mr. Erdogan said civilian deaths have increased in Syria, but reforms have not followed. He said that neither the Syrian people nor the Turkish government believe anymore in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier Tuesday, activists said Syrian security forces carried out sweeping arrests and raids in areas outside the capital, Damascus, and in a string of cities including Daraa, Latakia and Banias.

Demonstrators also burned Russian flags in the flashpoint cities of Homs and Daraa to protest Moscow's support for Mr. Assad. Both Russia and China oppose a draft U.N. Security Council resolution backed by European nations and the U.S. that would impose an arms embargo and other sanctions on Syria.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, the Arab League called for "immediate change" in Syria, urging Mr. Assad to end the violence and launch a comprehensive national dialogue.

Arab foreign ministers Tuesday demanded that Syrian authorities implement measures agreed upon during a visit to Damascus last week by the league's secretary-general.

Qatar's foreign minister, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, who chaired the meeting, said the the current situation remains critical and that Syria must stop what he called its "killing machine."

The United Nations estimates that 2,600 people have been killed in Syria's six-month-long uprising.

An aide to Mr. Assad disputed the U.N. figures Monday, saying that 1,400 have died. A Syrian government spokesman said the casualties have been evenly split between government forces and opposition activists.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid