Turkey calls for halt in Syria violence
June 15, 2011
Turkey's prime minister has called on the Syrian regime to halt the violence as President Bashar al-Assad's military forces counter deadly unrest.
The developments came as Syrian troops are reported continuing their crackdown on opponents of Assad's regime, with forces moving through villages near the northeastern town of Jisr al-Shugur.
Turkey's Anatolian news agency said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Assad and urged him to end the violence and draw up a timetable of reform.
The appeal came soon after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Iran of supporting the Syrian regime's "assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities." The statement gave no further details about Tehran's alleged involvement.
Turkey says more than 8,500 refugees from the Syrian violence have so far entered Turkey.
Protesters have described the operation in the northern mountains as leaving a trail of utter destruction behind it, while international agencies say Syrian soldiers who have deserted to Turkey allege they were being forced to commit atrocities.
International media have been denied access to areas of unrest.
compiled from agency reports